Syringomyelia : what it is

Syringomyelia : what it is
under the unusual name "syringomyelia" is hiding a chronic disease of the central nervous system that begins at a young age and progresses throughout the life of the patient.

Syringomyelia - a disease with a long history.For a long time the changes in the spinal cord in this disease was only interested pathologists, and they are not associated with symptoms in some patients.The name was given to the disease in 1825.But only in the early twentieth century, syringomyelia has been described as a separate disease with specific symptoms.

Why develop syringomyelia

When syringomyelia spinal cord pathological cavity formed.The cause of the disease - excessive growth of glial cells.

Glia - an auxiliary substance of the brain, those cells that are located between the neurons.Normally it delivers nerve tissue metabolism, and performs the support function.The resulting defective cells die quickly, so in their place are cavities in which fluid accumulates.Cavities are increasing, squeezing the adjacent neurons

and cause their death.

Therefore, with the progression of the disease symptoms of spinal cord lesions.

True syringomyelia - a hereditary disease occurs more frequently in men aged 25 to 40 years.It happens symptomatic syringomyelia due to trauma or tuberculosis infection.

Symptoms of syringomyelia

Manifestations of the disease are varied.

  1. sensory disturbances, usually in the upper limbs and chest.Patients do not feel pain and temperature sensations lose.This is because it destroys neurons posterior horns of the spinal cord.Patients often receive household injuries and burns due to the fact that absolutely do not feel pain.
  2. Neurotrophic disorders - your skin thickens and becomes cyanotic shade, do not heal wounds, even small, deformed bones and joints, develops bone fragility.Trophic lesions of the joints causing them purulent fusion with the formation of cavities.Usually suffer from shoulder and elbow joints.Hands of a patient with syringomyelia acquire distinctive look - fingers thickened, dry and scaly skin, visible scars from burns and cuts.
  3. Movement disorders - paresis, decreased muscle tone, dysfunction of the pelvic organs.
  4. Pain in the upper limbs and chest.Sometimes it occurs even before sensory disturbances.It is shown as pulling recurrent pain.

Sometimes glial cavity develops in the medulla oblongata - siringobulbiya.This is dangerous in that there is the respiratory center, and with his injury the patient may die from respiratory paralysis.

In addition, these patients develop paralysis of the tongue, soft palate, atrophic changes of facial tissues.

Treatment of syringomyelia Syringomyelia

currently incurable disease, but it is progressing very slowly, so patients keep their ability to work.

Currently developing new treatments for the disease, but so far they have not been serious clinical trials.Currently, care for patients is the appointment of drugs that slow the progression of the disease.

widely used radiation therapy - treatment with radioactive iodine, its molecules are irradiated with pathological glia cells, causing their destruction or growth retardation.

In extreme cases, surgery may - drainage cavities, removal of excess fluid.This reduces the pressure on nerve tissue and spinal cord neurons are destroyed slowly.

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