Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a disease of the white matter of the brain, caused by a virus infection that targets cells that make myelin–the material that insulates nerve cells or neurons. Polyomavirus JC reffered to as JC virus, is carried by a most people on earth and is harmless except among those with lowered immune system defenses. The disease is rare and occurs in hospital patients undergoing chronic corticosteroid or immunosuppressive therapy for organ transplant, or individuals with cancer or lymphoma. Individuals with autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus — some of whom are treated with alternative biological therapies that allow JC virus to grow are at risk for PML as well. PML is most common among patients with HIV-1 infection / acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). research Studies showed that prior to effective antiretroviral therapy, as many as 6 percent of persons infected with HIV-1 eventually develop PML that is an AIDS-defining disease. However, current HIV therapy using antiretroviral drugs, which can be effective at restoring immune system function, allows as many as half of all HIV-PML patients to survive, although these patients may sometimes have an inflammatory reaction in the parts of the brain affected by PML. The worst symptoms of PML are diverse, since they are related to the region and amount of damage in the brain, and may slowly evolve over the course of several weeks to months The most prominent symptoms are clumsiness; progressive acute weakness; and visual, speech, and sometimes noticeable personality changes.
Progression Of PML
The quick progression of deficits leads to life-threatening disability and (frequently) death. A strict diagnosis of PML can be made following brain biopsy or by combining observations of a progressive course of the disease, consistent barriers of white matter lesions visible on a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and the detection of the JC virus in spinal tap procedure fluid. Currently, medical cannabis is the best available therapy is reversal of the immune-deficient state with vitamins, since there are no effective drugs that block virus infection without toxicity. Reversal may be achieved by using plasma exchange to accelerate the removal of the toxic genes that put patients at risk for PML. In the case of HIV-associated PML, immediately beginning anti-retroviral therapy will benefit most individuals. Several new drugs and medical cannabis that laboratory tests found effective against infection are being used in PML patients with special permission of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.