Expert Opin Emerg Drugs. 2003 May;8(1):145-61
UCSF MS Center, 350 Parnassus Street, Suite 908, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA.
Multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating disease, is thought to be mediated in part by CNS autoantigen-specific T cells.
The aetiology of the disease is unclear, but includes genetic and environmental factors.
The disease onset often occurs in young adults and is characterised by bouts of neurological symptoms such as numbness, weakness, imbalance or visual difficulties that may not be recovered from.
Sometimes the course is more progressive.
Since the disease can be disabling, several treatments have been developed that reduce the risk of relapse and progression of sustained disability.
Although earlier treatment is encouraged, currently approved disease modifying therapies for MS are only partially effective, administered parenterally and associated with significant side effects and potential toxicities.
Therefore, many promising new therapies are under development that target various goals, including immunosuppression, immunomodulation, cell traffic through the blood-brain barrier (BBB), neuroprotection and enhancement of CNS repair.