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Monsters Inside Me: My Second Brain Is Killing Me

Monsters Inside Me—October 22, 2017

Animal Planet’s Monsters Inside Me featured HSS neurologist-in-chief Dale J. Lange, MD in an episode about Lacey, a girl who had acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) caused by enterovirus D68. AFM is a condition where the central nervous system is infected and can cause muscles to malfunction.

The episode explains that Lacey had paralysis and brain inflammation after experiencing cold-like symptoms. Dr. Lange, who did not treat Lacey, has done extensive research on enterovirus D68, and has a few theories about why it can sometimes cause AFM.

"Very few viruses can penetrate the central nervous system, but enterovirus D68 has the unique ability to not only get into the central nervous system, but to actually penetrate and take over the cells that cause movement," said Dr. Lange.

To reduce swelling in the brain and the spine, Dr. Lange recommended "to give [patients] a very large dose of steroids because steroids reduce the swelling in any tissue."

After a few months of treatment, Lacey recovered from the virus.

Watch the full episode at animalplanet.com [segment begins at 13:16]. This episode aired on October 22, 2017.

 

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