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Neuron. 2006 Oct 5;52(1):61-76.

The neurobiology of multiple sclerosis: genes, inflammation, and neurodegeneration.

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Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143, USA.


The autoimmune model of multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis provided for many years a useful but incomplete conceptual framework for understanding the complex array of factors that lead to the loss of immune homeostasis, myelin and axonal injury, and progressive neurological symptoms. The availability of novel tools in molecular neurogenetics and increasingly sophisticated neuroimaging technologies, together with the revitalization of MS neuropathology, has created a new paradigm for the multidisciplinary study of this disease. This is reflected by the growing resolution of the MS genomic map, discovery of delicate inflammatory networks that are perturbed in MS, identification of mediators of demyelination, and recognition that cumulative axonal loss and neuronal injury are the histological correlates of neurological disability. Together, these advances have set the stage for the development of therapeutic approaches designed to target the demyelinating and neurodegenerative components of the disease and promote repair.

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