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  • Updated 07.18.2017
  • Released 10.23.2014
  • Expires For CME 07.18.2020

Multiple sclerosis: neuroimmunology

Introduction

This article includes discussion of neuroimmunology and multiple sclerosis. The foregoing terms may include synonyms, similar disorders, variations in usage, and abbreviations.

Key points

• Multiple sclerosis is caused by immune attack against brain cells.
• There is no known multiple sclerosis antigen.
• The primary damage is from demyelination and destruction of oligodendroglia, but axons and neurons are also damaged.
• Cortical lesions are difficult to see on MRI; cortical disruption affects cognition and multiple central nervous system (CNS) functions.
• Before any therapy, interferon-alpha/beta levels in serum and responses to interferon are low in multiple sclerosis but high in neuromyelitis optica.

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