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What is a Neuroimmunologic Disorder?

Article posted on Friday, July, 2nd, 2010 at 11:40 am

It’s hard to say, hard to spell, and hard to deal with, but over the last year this is how I learned to understand it.

It includes things like ADEM, Meningitis, Encephalitis, and hundreds of other conditions. Pardon the analogy, but this is one of the best descriptions that I have found for helping parents (or patients) understand Neuroimmunologic Disorders.  Here we go…

Imagine there is a house. We’ll call it Neely’s House.  And in this house, Neely has a really cool stereo with great speakers.  Also in Neely’s House, is her pet cat. The cats name is Stormy.  And Stormy has an important job – to chase away and eliminate all the mice in the house.  One day, Neely’s wakes up to find that Stormy has discovered a mouse.  While chasing the mouse, Stormy gets distracted by all the wires that connect the stereo to the speakers. Stormy begins to chew on the wires.  (Have you ever seen a cat attack a big ball of tangled wire? Picture that.)   It doesn’t take long for Stormy to chew through the protective plastic coating on the wires.  Now, when Neely turns on the stereo the speakers don’t seem to be working quite right.  The sound is distorted, fades in and out and sometimes doesn’t come through at all.  No more music.

This is what happens when you have a Neuroimmunologic Disorder. Keep Reading.

The House is Neely’s body.

Stormy, the cat, is Neely’s immune system.

The Stereo is her brain.

The Speakers are her body.

The speaker wires are her Central Nervous System.

The plastic coating on the wires is her myelin (gray matter in the brain)

The Music is everything that we experience and enjoy when we interact with her.

With Neuroimmunological Disorders, every minute spent waiting for treatment is critical!  Finding a doctor that listens and searches for answers can mean the difference between life and death.  Get help fast.  Be and your own or your child’s best health care advocate and take charge of your care.

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