Experimental Models of MS

  • Andrew R. Pachner


Multiple sclerosis is a uniquely human disease. It does not occur naturally in any other animal, and, in fact, no other disease closely resembling MS has been described in other animals. Similarly, no animal models of MS mimic all of the features of the human disease faithfully. However, animal models of MS are important because they allow us to learn about neuroinflammation, and its link to demyelination, neuronal injury, and disability. The two main types of models—autoimmune and viral—also teach us about the effects of these processes within the CNS. We learn something from each model, and it is important to assess information obtained from each one as contributing to our knowledge base, rather than having direct translation to the human disease. This point is frequently lost on individuals who wish to rush preliminary information about models directly to MS treatments. This eagerness is understandable in MS patients, who are desperate for more effective therapies. But clinicians and scientists must take the long view, and place new information in context of the strengths and weaknesses of each model.


Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Canine Distemper Virus Passive Transfer Mouse Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Bordetella Pertussis 
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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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