Definition of Myeloencephalitis

Myeloencephalitis:Inflammation of both the spinal cord and the brain.

Myeloencephalitis (also called encephalomyelitis) can be caused by a variety of conditions that lead to inflammation of the spinal cord and brain. Among the common causes of myeloencephalitis are viruses which infect the nervous system.

One type, acute disseminated myeloencephalitis, occurs most commonly after an acute viral infection such as measles (rubeola) and is due to be an autoimmune attack upon the nervous system.

"Myelo" refers to the spinal cord; "encephal-" comes from the Greek "enkephalon", brain; and "-itis" means inflammation = spinal cord and brain inflammation.

Last Editorial Review: 8/28/2013

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