Broadcaster and Orioles Hall of Famer Jim Palmer recently announced that he’s out of the broadcast booth for a bit due to myelitis, a rare infection affecting his spinal column, due to the shingles virus.
CBS Local advised that Palmer sent out a tweet last week, stating that the O’s doctors and trainers recommended getting an MRI right away, and the myelitis infection was discovered.
An inflammation that affects both sides of a section within the body’s spinal cord, the neurological condition can cause damage within the material insulating the myelin nerve cell fibers. The disorder creates an interruption in messaging from the spinal cord nerves to the rest of the body that results in muscle weakness, pain, sensory issues, paralysis, as well as bowel and bladder dysfunction.
Several issues can cause myelitis to develop, including the shingles virus, as well as immune system conditions and infections that attack the tissues within one’s body. Signs and symptoms of the illness tend to develop over the course of some hours to days, and can gradually progress over several weeks. Additionally, while it tends to occur on both sides of the body, under the affected region of the spinal cord, sometimes symptoms can unravel solely one side.
Here’s hoping Jim Palmer’s road to recovery is a speedy and easy one. Treatment for myelitis can include rehabilitative therapy and medications. Most patients with the illness recover, at the very least, partially, and at times, there are those individuals with severe attacks that suffer with disabilities.
While a majority of the time, doctors are unaware what causes myelitis, it occurs when the body is trying to fight off an illness; when the immune system is attacking healthy cells for one reason or another. It is often linked to autoimmune diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome and lupus, as well as bacterial, fungal, parasite, and viral infections (like shingles). It can also, at times, be the first sign of multiple sclerosis (MS), a condition that attacks the myelin in a person’s spinal cord or brain. For those with MS, it can also be a sign of a relapse.