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Pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis: Relationship to Therapeutic Strategies

  • Richard M. Ransohoff
Chapter
Part of the Clinical Medicine and the Nervous System book series (CLIN.MED.NERV.)

Abstract

Ten chapters of this book are devoted to specific therapeutic strategies for multiple sclerosis (MS). It will be immediately noted that all of these strategies involve manipulation of the patient’s immune system. These immune-modulatory strategies comprise a broad spectrum. At one end are the global immunosuppressives, both anti-inflammatory (corticosteroids), cytotoxic (azathioprine, cyclophosphamide), and total lymphoid irradiation and plasmapheresis. Slightly more specific immune modulators include cyclosporine A and anti-T cell antibodies. The rationale for using interferons to treat MS relies primarily on their immunoregulatory potential although antiviral effects may also be desirable. Finally, several elegant strategies for specific immunotherapy directed against small numbers of presumed pathogenic immunocompetent cells are also described. If the majority of effort in studying experimental therapies for MS is directed at manipulating the immune system, then the task of explaining the rationale for this approach reduces to explaining why MS is thought to be an immune-mediated disorder. In this chapter, the concept of MS immunopathogenesis will be reviewed, with concentration primarily on the epidemiologic data and derivative clinical investigations. Where possible, references are to reviews, to facilitate further reading.

Keywords

Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Patient Myelin Basic Protein Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Demyelinating Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard M. Ransohoff

There are no affiliations available

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