Advances in understanding and treatment of immune-mediated disorders of the peripheral nervous system

Muscle Nerve. 2004 Aug;30(2):131-56. doi: 10.1002/mus.20076.


During recent years, novel insights in basic immunology and advances in biotechnology have contributed to an increased understanding of the pathogenetic mechanisms of immune-mediated disorders of the peripheral nervous system. This increased knowledge has an impact on the management of patients with this class of disorders. Current advances are outlined and their implication for therapeutic approaches addressed. As a prototypic immune-mediated neuropathy, special emphasis is placed on the pathogenesis and treatment of the Guillain-Barré syndrome and its variants. Moreover, neuropathies of the chronic inflammatory demyelinating, multifocal motor, and nonsystemic vasculitic types are discussed. This review summarizes recent progress with currently available therapies and--on the basis of present immunopathogenetic concepts--outlines future treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / etiology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / immunology
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / complications*
  • Infections / complications
  • Neurology / trends*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / immunology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / therapy*