Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2012, Article ID 969657, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/969657
Review Article

Is Multiple Sclerosis an Autoimmune Disease?

1Departments of Neurology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
2Division of Neurology, Saga University Faculty of Medicine, Saga 849-8501, Japan
3Department of Internal Medicine and Advanced Comprehensive Functional Recovery Center, Saga University Faculty of Medicine, Saga 849-8501, Japan
4Departments of Immunology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Received 30 January 2012; Revised 5 March 2012; Accepted 15 March 2012

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Ikegami

Copyright © 2012 Bharath Wootla et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with varied clinical presentations and heterogeneous histopathological features. The underlying immunological abnormalities in MS lead to various neurological and autoimmune manifestations. There is strong evidence that MS is, at least in part, an immune-mediated disease. There is less evidence that MS is a classical autoimmune disease, even though many authors state this in the description of the disease. We show the evidence that both supports and refutes the autoimmune hypothesis. In addition, we present an alternate hypothesis based on virus infection to explain the pathogenesis of MS.