Background: Transverse myelitis (TM) is an inflammatory disease of the spinal cord. In pediatric TM patients, cognitive and psychological problems have been described only anecdotally. Objectives: Study aims include describing cognitive dysfunction among a cohort of pediatric TM patients as well as qualitatively exploring the impact of depression, medication, and fatigue on cognitive functioning. Methods: Twenty-four consecutive TM patients referred to a pediatric demyelinating diseases clinic completed neuropsychological screening. Means, standard deviations (SD), and percentages of patients performing at or below 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 SD from the mean on tests administered are presented. Results: Means were generally average across domains; however, scores ranged widely across subjects within each domain. The highest rate of deficits was observed in fine-motor speed/dexterity. Slightly higher frequencies of impairment were observed in attention and memory as compared to processing speed and verbal fluency. Results did not suggest a clear association between cognitive problems and depression or medication use but did suggest that fatigue may impact cognitive functioning. Conclusions: This study is the first to document cognitive deficits in pediatric TM and raises questions regarding our understanding of the central nervous system (CNS) injury associated with TM. Findings warrant further exploration of neuropsychological outcomes in TM to inform appropriate intervention.
- pediatric demyelinating disease
- transverse myelitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology