PML is the brain infection caused by the JCVirus and in most recent years has been seen in multiple sclerosis patients with suppressed immune systems. Little has been known about PML because the brain support cells affected, glia, are unique to humans. The University of Rochester Medical Center has recently developed a mouse model enabling them to study glia in live animals. In addition to the mice becoming smarter, researchers have discovered the breakdown in the brain as the JCVirus spreads the deadly infection resulting in PML. This is huge! With this knowledge scientists believe they will identify early symptoms of PML and potentially new therapies.
Leukemia and lymphoma patients of the 1950s and 1960s were the first identified PML cases with the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s becoming the second. MS patients in recent years are the latest victims of PML. Estimations predict 70-90% of Americans have been exposed to the JCVirus. Early symptoms of PML are confusion and cognitive problems.
To learn more about this topic on ScienceDaily.com, “New tools in fight against virus that attack the brain” at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141117174440.htm and for a deeper reading, http://www.jci.org/articles/view/76629. Image from: www.armradio.am.