Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Student Scholarship

Date Written

Fall 2014

Document Type


Course Number

NURS 5330

Course Name

Advanced Pathophysiology

Professor’s Name

John D. Chovan, James R. Cacchillo


Falls (Elderly), Idiopathic Transverse Myelitis (TM), Etiology

Subject Categories

Medical Pathology | Nursing | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms


Imagine a day like any other, as a healthy performs daily tasks without any particular difficulty. Then, the first fall happens. After standing and recovering, two more falls occur; however, despite all physical effort, standing proves to be a complete impossibility. Imagine the fear. What is going on? This unexplainable scenario happened to an 81 woman diagnosed with idiopathic transverse myelitis (TM) in May 2011, leaving her permanently paralyzed below the mysteriously appearing T9 lesion. This woman had only a personal history of asthma and breast cancer, and nothing significant in her family history. After 60 days of lumbar punctures, MRI's, CT's, blood tests, plasmapheresis treatments, high dose steroids, and IVIG transfusions, the neurological damage to her periphery proved to be irreversible, leaving her paralyzed below the T9 level. Still a mysterious disease, researchers continue to search for a cause and a cure. Raising awareness of TM's prevalence can lead to discovery of new treatments. By researching its etiology and mysterious attacks on neurological cells, permanent damage may be avoided.



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