The Prototypic Neuroimmunological CNS Disease: Multiple Sclerosis, a Precis

  • Andrew R. Pachner


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system primarily affecting young adults, usually characterized by the development of sudden exacerbations (attacks) with remissions of focal neurological dysfunction and the development of progressive neurological disability over time. Lesions in the CNS are continually accrued (“one and one and one…”) so that over time, the CNS is damaged as a function of the frequency and location of lesions balanced by as yet poorly understood reparative processes. It is characterized pathologically by inflammation and demyelination as well as remyelination exclusively in the central nervous system, with no pathology in the peripheral nervous system or non-nervous system tissue. Its cause is unknown and its treatment is currently suboptimal in that exacerbations and disease progression are not universally halted. It is a uniquely human condition and although there are animal models, none is fully faithful to the human disease. In some patients with MS, those with the primary progressive form of the disease, there is simply progression of disability without exacerbations or remissions.


Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Patient Optic Neuritis Axonal Injury Multiple Sclerosis Lesion 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew R. Pachner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Neuroscience New Jersey Medical SchoolUniversity of Medicine and Dentistry of New JerseyNewarkUSA

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