Author(s): Kira J
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Abstract Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system(CNS). MS is assumed to be caused by a complex interplay between genes and environments. Autoimmune mechanisms targeting CNS myelin has long been proposed, yet it has not been proved. Th17 cells producing interleukin-17 and Th1 cells producing interferon-gamma are postulated to play major roles in initiating inflammation while regulatory T cell functions are dampened. The forth nationwide survey of MS in Japan revealed that MS prevalence showed four-folds increase over 30 years and the increase was especially prominent in female. Thus, westernized life style and improved sanitation are suspected to increase MS susceptibility. Genome-wide association studies in Western MS patients disclosed more than 100 disease-susceptibility genes, most of which are immune-related genes. It therefore supports immune-mediated mechanisms to be operative. Detailed magnetic resonance imaging studies revealed an early atrophy of the cerebral gray matter where T cell infiltration is pathologically scarce. Therefore, neurodegenerative process also takes place in the early course beside neuroinflammation.
This article was published in Nihon Rinsho
and referenced in Journal of Vascular Medicine & Surgery