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Is Multiple Sclerosis CNS Leprosy?

Author(s): Noha t. Abokrysha

Journal: Iranian Journal of Medical Hypotheses & Ideas
ISSN 1735-9104

Volume: 2;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis | Mycobacterium Leprae | BCG

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is widely believed to be an autoimmune disorder. Another exciting idea regarding the aetiology of MS may be that the immune response in MS could result from a chronic infection rather than autoimmunity in the usual sense. M. leprae-induced myelin damage in the early infectious process provides valuable insights into the pathologic mechanisms of multiple sclerosis. However, no research has hypothesized the possible involvement of mycobacterium leprae or its components in pathogenesis of MS. Most of the antigens of mycobacterium leprae and mycobacterium tuberculosis are members of stress protein families. Of the M. leprae and M. tuberculosis antigens identified by monoclonal antibodies, all except the 18-kDa M. leprae antigen and the 19-kDa M. tuberculosis antigen are strongly coded with very similar genes. I hypothesize that MS is a syndrome of diseases, induced by intradermal BCG vaccine which may contain the antigen component resembling that of leprae that can either produce central demyelination by itself, or by delayed hypersensitivity. The hypothesis should be assessed in several experimental and clinical trials. If my hypothesis can be verified experimentally and clinically, then measurements to prevent MS disease could be accomplished.

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