Significant information about advances in treating or understanding the major neurological diseases always emerges from the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology. Here are summaries of some noteworthy reports presented at this year's conference in Chicago.
Treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) by plasmapheresis was the subject of three reports of varying degrees of enthusiasm.In eight cases of progressive MS so treated, there was "definite evidence of improvement," reported Peter Dau, MD, of Children's Hospital, San Francisco. The treatment comprised one exchange (involving 3 to 5 L of plasma) each week for six to ten weeks. However, Dau said, even though plasmapheresis was continued for nine months, the "bulk of the disability was not improved."Similar observations came from Howard Weiner, MD, of Harvard Medical School, and Floyd Davis, MD, of Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center in Chicago. Weiner, for instance, found "modest but unequivocal" improvement lasting