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Gray and white matter of the brain
Gray and white matter of the brain


Leukoencephalopathy
Leukoencephalopathy


Definition:

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a rare disorder that damages the material (myelin ) that covers and protects nerves in the white matter of the brain .



Alternative Names:

PML



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

The JC virus (JCV) causes PML. This virus is found in a lot of people, but usually does not cause symptoms. However, it triggers PML in people who have poor immune function (immunocompromised).

The disease occurs in 4% of adults with AIDS .



Symptoms:
  • Headaches
  • Loss of coordination, clumsiness
  • Loss of language ability (aphasia)
  • Memory loss
  • Vision problems
  • Weakness of the legs and arms that gets worse


Signs and tests: Tests may include:

Treatment:

Treatment consists of antiviral drugs and other medications.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

PML is a very serious condition. Talk to your doctor about care decisions.



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:



Prevention:



References:

Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 5th ed. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2000:1856-1861.

Cohen J, Powderly WG. Infectious Diseases. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Elsevier; 2004:2046.




Review Date: 2/13/2008
Reviewed By: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Departments of Anatomy & Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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