Rehabilitation problems after acute disseminated encephalomyelitis: four cases

J Rehabil Med. 2003 Jan;35(1):20-5. doi: 10.1080/16501970306102.


The aim of this study is to describe rehabilitation problems in patients with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. The study examines retrospective clinical data. Data are reported from 4 patients, who were consecutively admitted and examined with the Functional Independence Measure and magnetic resonance imaging. It was found that the lesions in the brains affected by acute disseminated encephalomyelitis are widespread, but become smaller with time. Motor symptoms dominate at first, but recovery is quite good. Social and cognitive functions are also affected, however, and require a much longer recovery time. These symptoms are, thus, the dominating problem in the rehabilitation ward. At clinical follow-up after 3 years the cognitive problems still influenced the lives of the patients. It is concluded that social and cognitive problems seem to be common in patients with acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Recovery in these areas takes a long time and this is the main rehabilitation problem, since it affects the capability of the person to reintegrate into society.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / pathology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / psychology*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Acute Disseminated / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies