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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

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Abstract

SA, Maria José. Physiopathology of symptoms and signs in multiple sclerosis. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2012, vol.70, n.9, pp. 733-740. ISSN 0004-282X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2012000900016.

The physiopathology of symptoms and signs in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a less divulged topic albeit its importance in the patients' management. OBJECTIVE: It was to summarize the main biophysical and biochemical mechanisms which produce the clinical manifestations in MS. RESULTS: The mechanisms underpinning neurological deficits are described in the relapsing and in the progressive phases, stressing inflammatory and neurodegenerative components, especially demyelination, axonal damage and conduction impairment. Transient worsening based in Uhthoff's phenomenon, mechanisms producing positive symptoms, as paraesthesias and Lhermitte sign due to axonal hiperexcitability and ephaptic interactions, and development of cortical symptoms will also be addressed. The variety of processes leading to neural repair and functional recovery in the remitting phase is focused, as remyelination and adaptive changes due to neural plasticity. CONCLUSION: The awareness of mechanisms producing symptoms in MS emphasises the role of symptomatic and rehabilitation therapies in the improvement of patients' well-being.

Keywords : multiple sclerosis [physiopathology]; demyelination; axonal damage.

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