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Brown-Séquard syndrome (transverse half-spinal injury syndrome) is one type of spinal cord injury. It can be caused by both unilateral spinal cord injuries and neoplasms developing in the spinal canal or infections (such as syphilis). The disease is quite unusual, because it manifests itself with only one symptoms on the side of the damage and different ailments on the side opposite to it.

Brown-Séquard Syndromeis a syndrome of transverse half-core injury. The author of the description of the Brown-Séquard syndrome, which was created in 1850, was the French Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard. The unit in women and men occurs with a similar frequency. Cross-spinal transverse injury syndrome is not a common disease. In general, according to statistics, 30-40 per million people suffer from spinal cord injury within one year, and among all these injuries, the incidence of Brown-Séquard syndrome ranges from 2 to 4%.

Brown-Séquard syndrome: causes

Cross-cord transverse injury syndrome results from injuries to the spinal cord that affect only one half of the spinal cord. Such a situation may occur, for example, in the case of a gunshot or stabbing, and cases of this syndrome have also been reported in people who injected drugs into the veins located in the neck area. Other possible causes of the transverse half-core damage syndrome may be:

  • multiple sclerosis
  • tumors developing within one half of the spinal cord or tumors pressing on it
  • epidural hematoma
  • infections of the spinal cord tissues (such as tuberculosis, syphilis, infections with Herpes simplex or Herpes zoster viruses)
  • meningitis
  • intervertebral disc hernia
  • spinal abscess

Brown-Séquard syndrome): symptoms

Ailments related to Brown-Séquard syndrome appear both on the side of the damage and on the opposite side. On the same side as the damage, the muscles are paralyzed (or the muscle power is significantly weakened) and the sense of touch, vibration and deep sensation are abolished. In turn, on the side opposite to the damage, the feeling of pain and thermal stimuli is abolished.

The above complaints are those symptoms of Brown-Séquard syndrome which are the first complaints experienced by patients with this unit. Over time (especially in the absence of diagnosis and treatment), patients may also experience muscle wasting. In some patients, the loss of control over the sphincter of the urinary bladder and anus can be an additional problem.

Half-core transverse injury syndrome: diagnosis

The diagnosis of Brown-Séquard syndrome is based mainly on the symptoms presented by the patients and on medical history. If a patient has experienced a typical trauma that can be caused by this individual - for example, he was stabbed in the neck - then the diagnosis should be easy for the physician. A slightly more complicated situation arises when symptoms of the syndrome of transverse damage to the middle of the spine appear in a previously he althy patient. The panel of examinations performed in such cases depends on the suspected cause of the disease. For example, when an infectious disease is suspected, cerebrospinal fluid can be collected from patients by lumbar puncture. If there is a suspicion that the occurrence of Brown-Séquard syndrome may be due to the neoplastic process or the presence of a hematoma in the spinal canal, imaging tests, such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, may be performed.

Cross-core transverse injury syndrome: treatment

Treatment of Brown-Séquard syndrome focuses primarily on the treatment of the condition that led to the onset of this individual. Rehabilitation is of significant importance in patients with the syndrome of transverse damage to the middle of the spine, thanks to which it is possible to improve the muscular function of patients.

Brown-Séquard syndrome: prognosis

Contrary to appearances, the prognosis in the Brown-Séquard syndrome is not at all unfavorable. Most patients manage to achieve a significant improvement in motor activities within a month after the onset of the disease.

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