Neuritis or neuropathies can be referred to as an umbrella term for variety of degenerative conditions, pertaining to the structural or functional damage to Nerves. It commonly indicates inflammation of the nerve. It may be due to numerous causes including mechanical trauma, chemical injury, nutritional deficiencies, infections, inherited disorders, systemic diseases and autoimmune pathology. The condition has often proven to have noticeable impact on sensory and motor abilities of a person, like tingling, numbness, weakness in locomotary organs, paralysis, etc. Although various types of neuritis have been identified, optic neuritis and peripheral neuritis have observed to be the most commonly apparent.
The current write up has been intended to provide brief information of different types of neuritis and the possible pathogenesis.
Mononeuritis Multiplex is generally associated with painful, asymmetric motor as well as sensory peripheral nerve atrophy which is asynchronous involving isolated damage to at least 2 separate nerve areas. Since multiples nerve sites are being affected in this particular degeneration; a person suffering with this generally experience, weakness, numbness and pain in different parts of the body.
Cranial neuritis which often represents as Bell’s palsy and generally linked up with autoimmune disorders like diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Although exact cause has not been pinpointed, possible causes that have been marked so far can be tumour, meningitis, stroke, diabetes mellitus, mucormycosis, etc.
Vestibular neuritis is the neural damage associated with the inflammation due to infection in the inner side of the ear; connecting the nerves to the brain. The abnormality is diagnosed as the primary cause of dizziness and/or vertigo as a result of viral infection and less commonly bacterial, creating imbalance between the two sides of an affected ear. Other symptoms include loss of balance, and hearing.
Occipital neuritis or occipital neuralgia is a common condition affecting nerve running from the top of the spinal cord through the scalp. In this, occipital nerves are evidently observed to be inflamed or possibly injured as a result of accident, trauma, muscle stiffness and/or autoimmunity. Some of the medical conditions can as well be linked to the disorders such as osteoarthritis, gout, diabetes, etc. It typically causes at the base of the skull or back of the head.
Other than these important forms, mentioned above some of the less common forms, associated with neural degeneration can be noted as:
- Lumbosacral Neuritis
- Sensory Motor polyneuropathy
- Ulnar Neuritis
- Intercostal Neuritis
In the conventional medical practices, neuritis are being commonly delayed or halted in their progression, through administration of steroidal drugs. However, long term intake of steroids is associated with many side effects. On the contrary, some of the alternative therapies can have effective impact on regeneration and restoration of the affected nerves. Stem cells are such potential candidates which have been successfully isolated and infused back by medical experts to treat variety of neurodegenerative disorders, after identification of their inherent potential to have a marked anti-inflammatory response and to differentiate into various cells of different lineages.
The research is ongoing to explore different capabilities of stem cells and their possible applications in treating variety of degenerative illnesses, but with the current available data and treatment matrix; administration of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) to treat neural damage has proven to be the best possible option.