A neurological disorder caused by severe inflammation of the spinal cord. The condition involves an entire cross section of the spinal cord preventing the brain from communicating with the body below the level of the inflammation. Weakness and numbness occur below the involved area of the spinal cord. The disorder occurs in both adults and children, and typically begins with a rapid development of symptoms over the course of several hours to weeks. The condition can follow a viral infection or it may be related to an autoimmune disease.