Multiple sclerosis

Sharon G. Lynch, John W. Rose
1996 Disease-a-month  
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease that begins in late adolescence or adulthood. It is highly variable in its expression and severity. It is believed to be autoimmune in nature. The cause is unknown; both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis. MS generally presents with the acute or subacute onset of neurologic abnormalities that may wax and wane over many years. Diagnosis is generally made by means of observation of the clinical course in conjunction
more » ... th a neurologic examination and laboratory tests. These tests may include magnetic resonance imaging of the head and spine, lumbar puncture, and evoked potentials. Treatment is based on general supportive care, the use of corticosteroids for relapses, and symptomatic management of ongoing problems. The frequency of relapses can be reduced with interferon-beta (Betaseron). Copolymer 1 and interferon-beta la are being evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval for use for reduction in the frequency of relapses in relapsing-remitting MS. Treatment of chronic progression is often attempted with immunosuppressive agents such as corticosteroids, azathioprine, and cyclophosphamide. Use of other agents is being investigated.
doi:10.1016/s0011-5029(96)90012-7 pmid:8556963 pmcid:PMC7130340 fatcat:tnykp4vvxresrl4maouvzyhyim