CNS Vasculitis and Inflammatory Brain Diseases
This website provides information about Central Nervous System (CNS) vasculitis and other inflammatory diseases of the brain and spinal cord. It summarizes the currently available knowledge for patients, their families and healthcare providers.
Inflammatory Brain Diseases (IBrainD)
Inflammatory brain diseases represent a newly recognized group of illnesses, in which the patient's immune system gets activated and causes inflammation targeting brain and/or spinal cord structures. They can affect subjects of all ages. Previously healthy patients can develop devastating brain lesions, which can clinically lead to seizures, strokes or psychiatric symptoms. See more information about IBrainD.
One of these inflammatory brain diseases is CNS vasculitis, in which the patient's immune system attacks the blood vessels of the brain and/or spinal cord, leading to lesions and damage of the vessel walls and surrounding tissue. Vessel wall swelling may also decrease the blood supply to the brain tissue and cause ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke. Early recognition and treatment of CNS vasculitis is therefore crucial. See more information about CNS vasculitis.
Dramatic progress has been made in our ability to diagnose, treat and monitor patients with CNS vasculitis and other IBrainD. For suggested diagnostic algorithms, access to specific tests, support with interpretation of test results, access to treatment protocols, specific monitoring tools and outcome measures, see more information about clinical care.
Clinical and Translational Research
Doctors caring for patients with inflammatory brain diseases around the world have built a network teaming up with leading researchers to advance the care and improve the outcome of all affected patients. This network is called BrainWorks. It will enable us to understanding disease mechanisms, identify best treatment choices and prevent brain injury. See BrainWorks study and Steering Committee for more information on the BrainWorks Study.
You can also contact us at BrainWorks@sickkids.ca
Access to Care Map
Excellent care for patients with CNS vasculitis and other inflammatory brain diseases is provided by physicians at many centers around the world. If you are searching for a physician near you, visit the Access-to-Care Map.
Resources for Families
Health care teams and experienced families have joined at many places to build freely available educational resources, have founded accessible communication networks, and published personal stories to help and support others. See resources for families to access some of these resources.