A minimal unified model of disease trajectories captures hallmarks of multiple sclerosis

Venkateshan Kannan, Narsis A. Kiani, Fredrik Piehl, Jesper Tegner

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5 Scopus citations


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease targeting the central nervous system (CNS) causing demyelination and neurodegeneration leading to accumulation of neurological disability. Here we present a minimal, computational model involving the immune system and CNS that generates the principal subtypes of the disease observed in patients. The model captures several key features of MS, especially those that distinguish the chronic progressive phase from that of the relapse-remitting. In addition, a rare subtype of the disease, progressive relapsing MS naturally emerges from the model. The model posits the existence of two key thresholds, one in the immune system and the other in the CNS, that separate dynamically distinct behavior of the model. Exploring the two-dimensional space of these thresholds, we obtain multiple phases of disease evolution and these shows greater variation than the clinical classification of MS, thus capturing the heterogeneity that is manifested in patients.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalMathematical Biosciences
StatePublished - Mar 29 2017

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