Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the CNS characterized by demyelinating lesions and axonal damage, and is the most common cause of neurological disability among young adults. This collection brings together international experts on a range of aspects of multiple sclerosis, including genetics, imaging, epidemiology, and new approaches to treatment.



REVIEWS

Stem cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis: current status and future prospects

Gianvito Martino, Robin J. M. Franklin, Anne Baron Van Evercooren, Douglas A. Kerr & the Stem Cells in Multiple Sclerosis (STEMS) Consensus Group

doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2010.35

Nature Reviews Neurology 6, 247-255 (2010)

Stem cell-based therapies have the potential to revolutionize the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). In this Review, Martino et al. provide an overview of the current knowledge relating to the potential use of transplanted mesenchymal stem cells and neural stem/precursor cells in the treatment of MS.

Environmental factors and their timing in adult-onset multiple sclerosis

Adam E. Handel, Gavin Giovannoni, George C. Ebers & Sreeram V. Ramagopalan

doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2010.1

Nature Reviews Neurology 6, 156-166 (2010)

Epidemiological data indicate that genetic and environmental factors interact to determine an individual's risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Handel et al. examine the key periods of life during which the environment might contribute to MS susceptibility, focusing on three putative MS risk factors: sun exposure (and its relationship with vitamin D levels), Epstein–Barr virus infection, and smoking.

Pediatric multiple sclerosis

E. Ann Yeh, Tanuja Chitnis, Lauren Krupp, Jayne Ness, Dorothée Chabas, Nancy Kuntz & Emmanuelle Waubant

doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2009.158

Nature Reviews Neurology 5, 621-631 (2009)

Despite its relative rarity, pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) is an important entity, as it provides unique insights into disease processes related to MS. Clinical, MRI and laboratory data suggest differences in the immune response and CNS environment between adults and children with MS. Yeh et al. provide a comprehensive overview of the pediatric MS field, including epidemiology, disease mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment.

Imaging outcomes for neuroprotection and repair in multiple sclerosis trials

Frederik Barkhof, Peter A. Calabresi, David H. Miller & Stephen C. Reingold

doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2009.41

Nature Reviews Neurology 5, 256-266 (2009)

Multiple sclerosis is traditionally considered to be an inflammatory disease, but it also has a neurodegenerative component, which can manifest early in the disease course. New therapeutic strategies are being developed to elicit CNS neuroprotection and repair in patients with multiple sclerosis, and Barkhof et al. review the available data on imaging outcome measures that could be used to track the efficacy of these approaches.

LETTER

Genome-wide association study identifies new multiple sclerosis susceptibility loci on chromosomes 12 and 20

The Australia and New Zealand Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (ANZgene)

doi:10.1038/ng.396

Nature Genetics 41, 824-828 (2009)

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