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How do doctors diagnose progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)?

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If your doctor thinks you might have progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), he'll scan your brain with a magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI). This uses powerful magnets and radio waves to make a detailed picture. He'll look for lesions -- spots of damaged tissue -- that show the disease's presence.

If an MRI doesn't give a clear picture, he might do a brain biopsy. He'll take a small sample of tissue from your brain to look at under a microscope for signs of the disease.

Your doctor might also take a sample of the fluid around your brain and spinal cord by using a spinal tap -- a needle put into your lower back.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy."

Fields, R.D. , November 2010. Science

National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Reviewed by Neil Lava on October 21, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy."

National Organization for Rare Disorders: "Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy."

Fields, R.D. , November 2010. Science

National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Reviewed by Neil Lava on October 21, 2018

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What is the treatment for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)?

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