Can Transverse Myelitis Turn into MS?

Transverse Myelitis and Multiple Sclerosis (MS) are both neurodegenerative conditions that can impact the way your body functions. Are the two related, or can one lead to the other? Read on to find out whether transverse myelitis can develop into MS.

Transverse Myelitis

Transverse myelitis is a neurological condition that causes inflammation in the spinal cord. It is relatively rare; about 1,400 people in the United States are diagnosed with it each year. 

Also known as TM, transverse myelitis causes damage to the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve fibers in your spinal column. This can impact your nerves’ ability to send electrical signals throughout the rest of the body, leading to symptoms like the following:

  • Weakness in the arms and legs
  • Shooting lower back pain
  • Numbness or tingling throughout the body
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

Transverse myelitis can affect either a portion (partial transverse myelitis) or the entirety (complete transverse myelitis) of the spinal cord. 

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is another neurological condition that can impact the way your nerves function. More commonly known as MS, multiple sclerosis causes your immune system to attack the myelin sheath of your nerves. 

This can result in damage to the nerves, impacting their ability to send signals throughout the body. MS also damages the nerve cells that are capable of producing new myelin, which leaves the nerves continuously vulnerable.

MS can lead to a variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe, including the following:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Difficulty walking
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Vision issues
  • Bowel and bladder problems

Multiple sclerosis often occurs in relapsing stages. Patients can go into remission for months to years before experiencing a flare-up in their symptoms. Each flare-up is often worse than the previous. Left untreated, multiple sclerosis can become debilitating and severely impact your quality of life.

The Link Between Transverse Myelitis and MS

Since transverse myelitis and multiple sclerosis present very similar symptoms — and both conditions impact the myelin sheath — many people wonder whether there is a link between the two. A common concern is that one condition can develop into the other. 

Transverse myelitis will not become multiple sclerosis, but there may be a correlation between the symptoms of both diseases. Approximately 5% to 10% of people who have had a transverse myelitis attack will go on to develop multiple sclerosis shortly after. 

In most of these cases, the initial transverse myelitis episode may have been an early manifestation of multiple sclerosis rather than actual transverse myelitis. This means that sometimes multiple sclerosis may be misdiagnosed as transverse myelitis in its earliest stages.

Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders

Whether you have transverse myelitis or multiple sclerosis, there are many treatment options for managing symptoms. Regenerative medicine approaches like stem cell therapy have the opportunity to offer significant relief, controlling symptoms and slowing the progression of both conditions.

This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine, also known as Stem Cell Therapy in Tampa. Regenerative medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues.

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