In this article, we assess the roles and the efficacy of immunopharmacologic agents in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other demyelinating disease syndromes. The initial clinical manifestations of demyelinating disease, immunotherapeutic goals, efficacy of individual agents, and specific immunopharmacologic recommendations are discussed. MS and other idiopathic demyelinating disease syndromes can be effectively managed with immunotherapy. Exacerbations are treatable, and the frequency and severity of exacerbations can be reduced. Although some agents have a minor effect on progression of disability, current approaches have not proved to have a major influence on treatment of progressive MS. Immunotherapy for inflammatory demyelinating disease necessitates a high degree of clinical certainty about the diagnosis. Because all available therapeutic agents have limitations and significant toxic effects, careful consideration is necessary before use. Treatment should be individualized on the basis of the clinical course of the disease and the degree of patient disability.
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