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Risk Factors

PML is very rare and is likely caused by combination of factors. Infection with the JC virus (JCV) is required for PML to develop. Other patient-specific factors, including a weakened immune system and possibly genetic factors, may increase the risk of PML.


PML Risk factors Diagram


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2 Bloomgren G et al. Risk of natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. N Engl J Med. 2012 May 17;366(20):1870-80.

3 Gorelik L, et.al. Anti-JC virus antibodies: implications for PML risk stratification. Ann Neurol 2010 Sep;68(3): 295-303.

4 Progressive multifocal Leukoencephalopathy. MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000674.htm. Updated February 16, 2012. Accessed September 2012.

5 Thomas Weber. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Neurol Clin. 2008 Aug;26(3):833-54, x-xi and Bruce Brew, Nicholas Davies, et. al. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and other forms of JC virus disease. Nat Rev Neurol. 2010 Dec;6(12): 668. For information on specific therapeutics, please refer to the manufacturers’ websites.

6 Clifford DB. et. al. Natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in patients with multiple sclerosis: lessons from 28 cases. Lancet Neurol. 2010 9, 438-446