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Demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system 

Demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system
Chapter:
Demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system
Author(s):

Alasdair Coles

, and Siddharthan Chandran

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0591
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date: 25 February 2021

The common feature of all of the demyelinating diseases is that, initially at least, the oligodendrocyte-myelin unit is the primary target, with the axon comparatively spared. There are a range of causes, both acquired and inherited, which this chapter explores. Multiple sclerosis, the prototypic demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system, is the leading causing of neurological disability among young adults in many industrialized nations. In the last two decades therapies have been licensed with increasing capacity to suppress the inflammation which underlies the condition, leading to durable benefits to patients. The next most prevalent demyelinating disease is neuromyelitis optica. Originally thought to be a variant of multiple sclerosis, it is now recognized to be a distinct disease whose treatment is radically different from multiple sclerosis.

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