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PML - How long can remission last

Oct 28, 1996

I have a friend who was diagnosed with PML in August 94 and who has been in remission since early 95. I am told that this is rare and am wondering how long it can last?....Thanks Sandra

Response from Dr. Currier

PML stands for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. It is a progressive neurologic condition caused by the JC virus. There is no known treatment for this condition at present. Most people who have PML also have very low CD4 cell counts, and their prognosis is very poor. Occasionally, however, people will develop PML with higher CD4 counts, and they may sometimes have remissions, and may have a better overall prognosis.

Because PML is uncommon, and because PML with high CD4 counts is fairly rare, I can't tell you what to expect in your friend's case. Probably the best thing that can be done is to be aggressive about treating the HIV disease (with antiretroviral therapy) in the hopes that that will keep the PML under control.

Treatment for Progressive Leukoencephalitis

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