Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is a rare, monophasic autoimmune condition affecting the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms of ADEM can be variable, given that lesions can present in multiple areas of the central nervous system. ADEM shares certain clinical characteristics with other demyelinating conditions such as pediatric multiple sclerosis and transverse myelitis, but it also has important defining characteristics. To learn more about this condition, John and Ryan speak with Lana Harder, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, who is a founding member and current Co-Director of the Children’s Medical Center Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Clinic.
- ADEM pathophysiology, prevalence, and course
- Areas of the brain and spinal cord affected by the condition
- Differential diagnosis with other demyelinating disorders in children
- Common physical symptoms and medical treatments
- Possible cognitive symptoms
- Tips for conducting neuropsychological evaluations in children with this condition
Dr. Lana Harder is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist and pediatric neuropsychologist. She is the Manager of Neuropsychology Service and Neuropsychology Training Director at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. She holds dual faculty appointments as Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurology at University of Texas Southwestern. Additionally, she was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) and the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN). She is also a Clinical Neuropsychology Ambassador to the American Board of Professional Psychology Early Career Psychologist Task Force.
Tan, A., Hague, C., Greenberg, B. M., & Harder, L. (2018). Neuropsychological outcomes of pediatric demyelinating diseases: a review. Child Neuropsychology, 24(5), 575-597.