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Definition of PML

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

PML: Stands for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a rapidly progressive, often fatal viral infection of the brain. Commonly abbreviated as PML.

PML is believed to be due to the Jacob-Creutzfeldt (JC) papovavirus. The virus infects oligodendrocytes (support cells in the brain).

The signs and symptoms of PML include headaches, memory loss, changes in mental status, speech and vision difficulties, loss of strength, limb weakness, seizures, partial paralysis and loss of coordination. The disease leads to coma and then to death.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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