How does the location of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions affect how the disease manifests?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

The location of lesions in the CNS usually dictates the type of clinical deficit that results. As neural inflammation resolves in MS, some remyelination occurs, but some recovery of function that takes place in a patient could be due to nervous system plasticity. MS is also characterized by perivenular infiltration of lymphocytes and macrophages, as demonstrated in the image below. Infiltration of inflammatory cells occurs in the parenchyma of the brain, brainstem, optic nerves, and spinal cord.

Inflammation in multiple sclerosis. Hematoxylin an Inflammation in multiple sclerosis. Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain shows perivascular infiltration of inflammatory cells. These infiltrates are composed of activated T cells, B cells, and macrophages.

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