NINDS Arachnoiditis Information Page: NINDS


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Article title: NINDS Arachnoiditis Information Page: NINDS
Conditions: Arachnoiditis
What is Arachnoiditis?
Arachnoiditis is an inflammatory response of the arachnoid, one of three coverings, or meninges, that envelop the brain and spinal cord. It may result from infection, including syphilis and tubercular meningitis; trauma (including that resulting from surgery, lumbar puncture, and spinal anesthesia); or a diagnostic procedure called a myelogram, which is performed in patients prior to spinal surgery. Symptoms include numbness, tingling, and a characteristic stinging and burning pain in the legs.

Is there any treatment?
The goal of treatment should be to return the patient to a functional role in society. Conservative therapy such as pain management is generally recommended. In those patients whose arachnoiditis is progressive, surgery to remove adhesions is only minimally effective because scar tissue continues to develop. Also, surgery exposes the already irritated spinal cord to additional trauma.

What is the prognosis?
There is no cure for arachnoiditis. For the majority of patients, arachnoiditis is a disabling disease causing intractable pain and neurological deficits. As the disease progresses, some symptoms may increase and become permanent. Few people with this disorder are able to continue working. In some cases, progressive paraplegia may occur.

What research is being done?
Within the NINDS research programs, arachnoiditis is addressed primarily through studies associated with pain research. NINDS vigorously pursues a research program seeking new treatments for pain and nerve damage with the ultimate goal of reversing debilitating conditions such as arachnoiditis. NINDS has notified research investigators that it is seeking grant applications both in basic and clinical pain research. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) may also be conducting research on pain.

 Organizations

American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA)
P.O. Box 850
Rocklin, CA 95677-0850
ACPA@pacbell.net
http://www.theacpa.org/
Tel: 916-632-0922
Fax: 916-632-3208

National Chronic Pain Outreach Association (NCPOA)
P.O. Box 274
Millboro, VA 24460
ncpoa@cfw.com
Tel: 540-862-9437
Fax: 540-862-9485

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 31, Rm. 4C05
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
NIAMSInfo@mail.nih.gov
http://www.nih.gov/niams
Tel: 301-496-8188 877-22-NIAMS (226-4267)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
National Institutes of Health
Bldg. 45, Rm. 4AS19
Bethesda, MD 20892-6400
nidrinfo@od31.nidr.nih.gov
http://www.nidr.nih.gov/
Tel: 301-496-4261

This fact sheet is in the public domain. You may copy it.Provided by:
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892



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