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February 28, 1972

Immunological Disorders of the Nervous System

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee

JAMA. 1972;219(9):1218-1219. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190350054034

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The proceedings of the 1969 meeting of the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Disease review neural disorders associated with altered immune mechanisms. Interesting presentations include neurological and immunological summaries of lupus erythematosus, congenital rubella, ataxia telangectasia, post-infectious polyneuritis, complications of rabies immunization, and neurological symptoms occurring in immunosuppressed transplant patients.

We are close to an exact biochemical description of the myelin proteins which initiate the immune reaction in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, but the relationship of this model disease to multiple sclerosis remains obscure. The immunopathology of multiple sclerosis is complex and confusing; we still do not know if the humoral and cellular antimyelin factors which occur in this disorder precede (and produce?) or follow myelin breakdown.

The volume closes with a review of four related conditions: Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and kuru in man and scrapie and mink encephalopathy in animals. Each of these disorders is characterized clinically by progressive