Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM) | Testing & Diagnosis

How is acute disseminated encephalomyelitis diagnosed?

There is not one specific test that is used to diagnose acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). There are several exams and tests that the doctor must look at including:

  • your child's medical history
  • a neurological examination
  • brain MRI scans
  • a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to make sure there is not an infection in the spinal fluid, such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • an EEG if seizures are suspected
  • blood tests to look for infectious triggers and for other conditions that can be confused with ADEM