At the Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center, our multidisciplinary team provides expert care for children, adolescents and young adults with all types of neuroinflammatory diseases. These diseases affect the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. The neuroinflammation can be caused by an infection or an underlying autoimmune, genetic or degenerative condition. Another term people use for these conditions is neuroimmunological disease.
Our team also provides consultation services to confirm whether your child has a neuroinflammatory condition. If your child does not have a neuroinflammatory condition, we can provide a referral to specialists who can help determine the cause of your child’s symptoms.
Our specialists treat all neuroinflammatory conditions, including the most common ones listed below.
In antibody-mediated diseases, B cells (unique white blood cells) produce antibodies that bind to healthy structures in the brain. These antibodies are called “auto-antibodies” and can cause inflammation, irritation and swelling in the brain. Examples of antibody-mediated diseases include:
- Anti-N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor encephalitis
- Hashimoto encephalitis
- Inflammatory optic neuropathy/retinopathy
- Limbic encephalitis
- Ocular myasthenia gravis/juvenile myasthenia gravis
- Lupus that affects the brain, including CNS lupus, neuropsychiatric lupus and lupus cerebritis
Demyelinating diseases damage myelin, a substance that protects most of the nerves in the body. When a person has a demyelinating disease, inflammation damages the myelin and scar tissue forms on the nerves. Nerve impulses slow down or even stop, causing neurological problems. Our experts treat all types of demyelinating disease, which include:
- Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
- Acute transverse myelitis
- Inflammatory optic neuropathy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-associated disease
- Neuromyelitis optica
- Optic neuritis
Granulomatous diseases are inherited disorders that increase a person’s risk of getting bacterial and fungal infections. They occur when a phagocyte (type of white blood cell) that usually helps the body fight infections doesn’t work properly. As a result, a person can develop serious bacterial or fungal infections, which can cause inflammation in different parts of the body, including the brain. The Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center treats all types of granulomatous diseases, including:
- Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis
- Central nervous system vasculitis
T cell-mediated Diseases
T cells are a type of white blood cell that protect the body from infection. Sometimes T cells attack healthy tissues, causing inflammation and other problems. Rasmussen’s encephalitis and multiple sclerosis are types of T cell-mediated disease that affects children, adolescents and young adults.
- COPA syndrome