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Multiple Sclerosis: Total Lymphoid Irradiation

Topic Overview

Total lymphoid irradiation uses radiation to limit the production of white blood cells (lymphocytes). These cells help the body's immune system destroy foreign cells and fight infection. The treatment was first developed to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer.

In theory, total lymphoid irradiation may help prevent progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) by limiting the production of lymphocytes and thus limiting the activity of the immune system. The results of studies done so far have failed to show any benefit.

Total lymphoid irradiation remains an experimental treatment for MS. The treatment may be toxic and potentially dangerous and typically is not recommended.

Side effects of this treatment may include:

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
Last Revised February 15, 2012

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