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Neurol Res. 2006 Apr;28(3):230-5.

Multiple sclerosis as a vascular disease.

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Department of Neurology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, 71130, USA.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) has traditionally been viewed and researched as an immune-mediated disease with principal emphasis on the role of activated inflammatory cells, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes in its pathogenesis. Abnormalities of cerebral endothelial cells (CECs) is an under explored facet of MS pathogenesis and vascular abnormalities play a crucial role in formation of the MS lesions and disease progress, at least in the initial stages of disease. This review will focus on MS as a central nervous system (CNS) disease with a strong vascular constituent and examines abnormalities within CECs in MS and their role in the loss of blood-brain barrier and transendothelial migration of activated leukocytes into the CNS. One goal of this paper is to persuade and promote research on the endothelial abnormalities in pathogenesis of MS and to exploit existing knowledge on endothelial injury. A deeper understanding of endothelial pathophysiology in MS may help develop effective treatments through stabilization of endothelial function, translating into delay or arrest of MS disease onset and disability in MS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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