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Facts regarding Brown-Sequard syndrome

Pennsylvania residents may be familiar with an uncommon spinal disorder known as Brown-Sequard syndrome, or BSS. The condition develops following an injury to a person's spinal cord from a back or neck wound. Other factors causing BSS include an obstructed blood vessel, known as ischemia, a tumor on the spinal cord, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, or any other inflammatory or infectious disease.

A person who has BSS is neurologically affected. The patient usually suffers hemianesthesia, or a sensory loss on the side of the body where the spinal injury occurred, and hemiparaplegia, which is a paralysis or weakness that takes place on the side of the body opposite of the spinal cord injury.

Treatment and diagnosis for BSS patients differ and is based on how the condition developed. Once doctors determine the condition's primary cause, large doses of steroids may be given to BSS patients. This method of treatment is usually more effective if it is administered to people in the early stages of the disorder. Presently, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is supporting and carrying out studies on BSS and various other spinal cord disorders with the hope of finding a cure.

Serious car accidents such as head-on collisions often lead to death or catastrophic injuries and frequently happen because of a distracted or negligent driver. Many victims of these types of accidents are forced to undergo extended periods of medical treatment. While some may recover, others might never fully recuperate and may be left with a serious condition such as a spinal cord injury . However, car accident victims may be entitled to a legal remedy if they suspect the reckless actions of another driver caused the crash. If the attorney can show negligence was a factor in causing the crash, the defendant may be held liable for damages.

Source: NINDS, "NINDS Brown-Sequard Syndrome Information Page", Sept. 29, 2011

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