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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2011, Article ID 606807, 6 pages
Review Article

Iron and Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis

1Department of Neurology, Medical University of Graz, A-8036 Graz, Austria
2NUBIN, Department of Clinical Chemistry, VU University Medical Center, 1007MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 31 October 2010; Revised 26 December 2010; Accepted 2 January 2011

Academic Editor: Jeroen J. G. Geurts

Copyright © 2011 Michael Khalil 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.


Increased iron deposition might be implicated in multiple sclerosis (MS). Recent development of MRI enabled to determine brain iron levels in a quantitative manner, which has put more interest on studying the role of iron in MS. Evidence for abnormal iron homeostasis in MS comes also from analyses of iron and iron-related proteins in CSF and blood and postmortem MS brain sections. However, it is not yet clear if iron accumulation is implicated in MS pathology or merely reflects an epiphenomenon. Further interest has been generated by the idea of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency that might be associated with brain iron accumulation due to a reduction in venous outflow, but its existence and etiologic role in MS are currently controversially debated. In future studies, combined approaches applying quantitative MRI together with CSF and serum analyses of iron and iron-related proteins in a clinical followup setting might help to elucidate the implication of iron accumulation in MS.