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Controversies in Neurology
July 2000

Trauma to the Central Nervous System May Result in Formation or Enlargement of Multiple Sclerosis Plaques

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.



Arch Neurol. 2000;57(7):1074-1077. doi:10.1001/archneur.57.7.1074

IN SOME patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), certain kinds of trauma may act as a trigger at some time for the appearance of new or recurrent symptoms. Only trauma affecting the head, neck, or upper back, that is, to the brain and/or spinal cord, can be considered significant.1 This premise is based on the twin considerations that an alteration of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an obligatory step in the pathogenesis of the MS lesion and that trauma to the central nervous system (CNS) can result in such a loss of BBB impermeability.