Diseases & Conditions


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy


Synonyms of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
  • No synonyms found

Disorder Subdivisions

  • No synonyms found


General Discussion
Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a neurological disorder characterized by destruction of the myelin, an oily substance that helps protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, also known as central nervous system (CNS) white matter. It is caused by a virus called JC virus (JCV), named after the initials of the patient in whom it was first discovered. The virus is widespread, found in at least 85% of the general adult population. It remains inactive in healthy individuals and causes disease only when the immune system has been severely weakened, such as in people with HIV/AIDS, or hematological malignancies, and in organ transplant recipients who receive immuno- suppressant medications to avoid rejection of the transplanted organ. Altogether, PML occurs in approximately one in 200,000 people.

The term progressive in PML means that the disease continues to get worse and often leads to serious brain damage. The term multifocal means that JCV causes disease in multiple parts of the brain. However, it is possible for an individual with PML to have only one brain lesion instead of several lesions. The term leukoencephalopathy means that the disease affects mainly the white matter of the brain or myelin, although there are some rare cases in which the gray matter neurons is also involved.

Organizations related to Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
  • AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service
    1600 Research Boulevard
    Rockville MD 20849-6421
    Phone #: 301-251-5160
    800 #: 800-448-0440
    e-mail: actis@cdcnac.org
    Home page: http://www.actis.org
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Road NE
    Atlanta GA 30333
    Phone #: 404-639-3534
    800 #: 800-311-3435
    e-mail: http://www.cdc.gov/netinfo.htm
    Home page: http://www.cdc.gov/
  • Gay Men's Health Crisis
    119 West 24th Street
    New York NY 10011
    Phone #: 212-367-1211
    800 #: --
    e-mail: N/A
    Home page: N/A
  • HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service
    P.O. Box 6303
    Rockville MD 20849-6303
    Phone #: 301-519-0459
    800 #: 800-448-0440
    e-mail: atis@hivatis.org
    Home page: http://www.hivatis.org
  • Madisons Foundation
    PO Box 241956
    Los Angeles CA 90024
    Phone #: 310-264-0826
    800 #: N/A
    e-mail: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
    Home page: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
    31 Center Drive
    Bethesda MD 20892-2540
    Phone #: 301-496-5751
    800 #: 800-352-9424
    e-mail: braininfo@ninds.nih.gov
    Home page: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
  • amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research)
    120 Wall Street
    New York NY 10005-3902
    Phone #: 212-806-1600
    800 #: 800-392-6327
    e-mail: webmaster@amfar.org
    Home page: http://www.amfar.org



For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html