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Ann Neurol. 1996 Oct;40(4):569-74.

Western versus Asian types of multiple sclerosis: immunogenetically and clinically distinct disorders.

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Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


The polymorphism of HLA-DRB1, -DRB3, and -DRB5 genes as well as magnetic resonance images of the brain and spinal cord were studied in 57 Japanese patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Twenty-three patients clinically displayed selective involvement of the optic nerve and spinal cord and were classified as having Asian-type MS. The other 34 patients had disseminated central nervous system involvement and were classified as having Western-type MS. Patients with Asian-type MS had fewer brain lesions shown by magnetic resonance imaging, but more gadolinium-enhanced spinal cord lesions than did patients with Western-type MS (47% vs 17%). Furthermore, the DR2-associated DRB1*1501 allele and DRB5*0101 allele were associated with Western-type MS (41.2%), but not with either Asian-type MS (0%) or healthy control subjects (14.2%). Heterogeneity in the immunogenetic background and in the magnetic resonance imaging features between the two subtypes of MS thus suggests the presence of two etiologically distinct diseases in Asians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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