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Medical Response

There are no known interventions that can reliably prevent PML or adequately treat PML if it occurs. Many patients with PML have weakened immune systems. Restoring the immune system may help in recovering from some PML symptoms, however, some of the serious effects of the disease are often permanent.1


If you are diagnosed with PML associated with certain medications, it is likely that your doctor will have you discontinue the use of these medications to help restore your immune system.2 In certain cases, your doctor may also perform plasma exchange, which will help remove any remaining medication from your body and which is designed to help restore your immune system.


If you are a patient with HIV, your doctor may begin treatment with highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART).


In some patients, particularly those with HIV and MS, it is possible that restoration of the immune system may cause an additional condition called immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS), which may itself lead to a decline in your condition. If your doctor detects this, he or she will likely treat the inflammation inside your body.


Disclaimer: The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not being provided for the purposes of medical advice. View site Terms of Use.


1 Bruce Brew, Nicholas Davies, et. al. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and other forms of JC virus disease. Nat Rev Neurol. 2010 Dec;6(12):674.

2 Thomas Weber. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Neurol Clin. 2008 Aug;26(3):833-54, x-xi and Brew, 668. For information on specific therapeutics, please refer to the manufacturers’ websites.