ADEM and Bell's Palsy

As most of you know, I was diagnosed with ADEM in 2016 and paralyzed from the collar bone down for close to 5 months. Last Friday, I fell and hit my head, by Saturday I was in the ER with paralysis of the face. They diagnosed me with Bell’s Palsy. I went to my neurologist on Monday when he ordered a battery of test and blood work. Any thoughts on the two being connected? I have not begun to heal from the Bell’s Palsy (although it has been less than a week). I am on steroids and anti-viral meds. I have to say that this is beginning to be very depressing. Between the COVID lock down, having ADEM and Bell’s Palsy, I am starting to become rather hopeless. It seems like every time I start to stand up, I get knocked back down again.

Hi Ronnica,

The research states it s usually due to respiratory infection and/ or diabetes. I am not one to cancel out the fact that it could be from trauma to the region of the brain that does the task of muscle movements. If i were you i would inspect the first ADEM MRI. If a certain region of the brain was attacked by ADEM and the concussion has caused issues in the same region that could equate to plausible reasons for the muscle issues. The question, is this a temporary setback due to inflammation or is there a progressive matter to deal with. i think a lot of us are down in the dumps, but keep trying. Those who can take all the… poop… life dishes out are strong enough to rule it.

Hi Ronnica,

If truly connected, that would be very interesting! I myself suffered from severe bouts of CIDP (paralysis of arms/legs) a few years back, which is also a demyelinating inflammatory condition, just like ADEM. I’ve always been interested in its connection with my other inflammation-related conditions - asthma, dust mite allergies, eczema, for example. I’ve read that Bell’s Palsy patients often have inflammation of the nerve that allows movement of the face. Maybe the tendency of your body to mount out of control inflammatory responses is the connecting factor? This is just a hypothesis though, based on my own experience - sadly I’ve not seen much in the literature about any connection between ADEM and Bell’s Palsy yet. Maybe other people with ADEM might be able to comment on other inflammatory conditions they might suffer from, to see if you and I are not the only who are seeing these connections?

How have things progressed since then - I hope you are starting to see some improvements in your symptoms by now. The timing is truly awful, I really sympathise. I understand that feeling of hopelessness, but eventually a time will come when all of this is in the past - stay strong :slight_smile:

I have pretty much recovered from Bells Palsy. They have diagnosed me with Hashimotos. The belief is the swelling of my thyroid put pressure on my facial nerves. I don’t know that it the case. I am a bit convinced that the inflammatory response was definitely connected to ADEM.