The Hope Project (THP): Understanding Arachnoiditis

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Arachnoiditis is a progressive neuroinflammatory disease. It is mainly characterized by pain associated with the arachnoids, a membrane that protects the nerves of the spinal cord. This disease has been considered untreatable and hopeless for many years, however, research has brought new medications and treatments to help patients. Arachnoiditis can also cause symptoms that are similar to those of other illnesses, such as spinal cord tumors, cauda Equina syndrome, Arachnoiditis Ossificans, and Syringomyelia.


This article provides insight into the etiology (causes), the physiological effects, the neuropathology, and management of Arachnoiditis.


What is Arachnoiditis?


Arachnoiditis is a rare neuroinflammatory disease that causes pain in the spinal cord. This is mainly due to inflammation of the arachnoids, the membrane that surrounds the nerves of the spinal cord. Arachnoiditis has been associated with many causes, including infections, trauma, and anesthesia. Moreover, this is a rare disease that isn’t generally inherited. Arachnoiditis is known to be chronic, and certain surgeries help provide short-term pain relief.




The Etiology of Arachnoiditis


Arachnoiditis, as stated by the National Institute of Health (NIH) is not generally inherited. Most cases of this disease are due to previous trauma, inflammation, or side effects of anesthesia. 60% of cases are due to complications during spinal cord surgeries. These patients have problems that cause a lot of inflammation. Spinal and epidural anesthesia is another cause of Arachnoiditis mainly because of inflammation due to the composition of anesthesia. Moreover, mechanical injuries and trauma to the spinal cord can lead to increased inflammation of the arachnoids.


How does Arachnoiditis evolve?


Arachnoiditis evolves after days, weeks, or months, after developing the first symptoms. Afterward, it presents gradual, progressive weakness with sensory loss in the lower extremities that can progress to complete paraplegia. Arachnoiditis is a serious condition that has to be tracked by doctors. Even if this evolution occurs to a patient, it is important to continue being surrounded by love and care from family and friends.

Can nootropics and technology help patients with Arachnoiditis?


Arachnoiditis doesn’t have a set of medications, nor technologies that can cure it. However, management of symptoms may help with the pain. Treatments may involve physical therapy and psychotherapy. Moreover, there are certain surgical procedures that may help an Arachnoiditis patient. These generally create short-term relief, and sometimes complications may lead to worsening of the condition. Doctors specialized in Arachnoiditis can come up with clinical treatments, surgeries, and technologies that are non-invasive and can positively impact the life of the patient.


Picture adapted from E. Eisenberg et al. Adhesive arachnoiditis following lumbar epidural steroid injections: a report of two cases and review of the literature. Dove Press (2019).


Where can you learn more about Arachnoiditis?


The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) supports the research for new technologies and medications for Arachnoiditis. This organization has treatment plans, management of symptoms, and many resources for patients and caretakers. Moreover, The Pain Relief Foundation is another great resource of information. It is located in the United Kingdom but provides information worldwide. It has a section specifically for helping patients with Arachnoiditis.




Conclusion


Arachnoiditis is a rare neuroinflammatory disease that affects the lower area of the spinal cord. Many researchers focus on learning more about this condition as it is not hereditary, rather it is caused by life events such as trauma and inflammation. Even though there is no cure, there are therapies that help patients who are losing movement. Patients and those that surround a patient must maintain an optimistic mindset because it is a disease that can be helped.


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Unwired India is a neurotech-startup that aims at integrating state-of-the-art research and developments in STEM, for catalyzing the transition of Neuroscience to Neurotechnology. We develop avant-garde non-invasive neurostimulation products used to solve some of the world’s most critical global issues and challenges. Our mission is to take cutting-edge brain research directly into the lives and homes of people, thereby fostering a unique culture of sustainable neuroscience and scientific literacy in India.

  • Founded in 2020, we are the pioneers of Nootropics and non-invasive Neurotechnology devices in the country, and offer so much more than high-quality, delicious Brain Nutrition products for daily cognitive support; a full-service health and fitness startup that has become an important part of the local community, here in New Delhi, India.

  • We develop non-GMO, all-natural nootropic (smart-drug) formulations, Himalayan herb blends, and specialized amino-nutraceutical interventions and supplements for enhanced brain function, cognition, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration.

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The Hope Project (THP) is a neuro-disorder awareness initiative within the organizational framework of Unwired India. The initiative aims at creating and scaling awareness against the stigma, fear, and apprehensions associated with Neurological disorders.


Aims: To promote and develop awareness across global masses and to emphasize the importance of early detection, in addition to fostering a healthy lifestyle- which is important in the management and treatment of these ailments.


WORK WITH US. Register at www.unwiredindia.com/team


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A friendly reminder: We've done our research, but you should too! Check our sources against your own and always exercise sound judgment.


https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/5839/arachnoiditis 

https://painrelieffoundation.org.uk/ 

https://www.theacpa.org/ 

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Arachnoiditis-Information-Page

https://rarediseases.org/gard-rare-disease/arachnoiditis/ 

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical science/arachnoiditis 

https://www.dovepress.com/adhesive-arachnoiditis-following-lumbar-epidural-steroid-injections-a--peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-JPR

Image credits:

https://www.dovepress.com/adhesive-arachnoiditis-following-lumbar-epidural-steroid-injections-a--peer-reviewed-fullte


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About The Author


Raquel Paz Bergia


Leader of The Hope Project & International Growth Ambassador (Madrid, Spain)


Raquel Paz Bergia is a writer from Spain who developed an interest in Neurology at an early age. Over the last few years, she has surrounded her studies around Cognitive Biomedical Engineering. She has a passion for learning and researching degenerative diseases and their impact on the community.





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