Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

A rapidly progressive, often fatal viral infection of the brain. Commonly abbreviated as PML. PML is believed to be due to the Jacob-Creutzfeldt (JC) papovavirus. The virus infects oligodendrocytes (support cells in the brain). The signs and symptoms of PML include headaches, memory loss, changes in mental status, speech and vision difficulties, loss of strength, limb weakness, seizures, partial paralysis and loss of coordination. The disease leads to coma and then to death.

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progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy n a progressive and fatal demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that typically occurs in immunosuppressed individuals due to loss of childhood immunity to a double-stranded DNA virus of the genus Polyomavirus (species JC polyomavirus) ubiquitous in human populations and that is characterized by hemianopia, hemiplegia, alterations in mental state, and eventually coma

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opportunistic infection of the central nervous system by the JC virus, seen in immunocompromised persons and sometimes secondary to neoplastic conditions such as lymphosarcoma, lymphoblastic leukemia, or myelogenous leukemia. The demyelination is usually found in the white matter of the cerebral hemispheres but may rarely be seen in the brainstem and cerebellum.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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