FAQs about Balo's Disease - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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Frequently Asked Questions about Balo's Disease

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Is Balo’s disease inherited or is there a genetic component?

Balo's disease is not inherited although there may be a genetic component. The disease is more common in Chinese and Filipino populations than in Caucasians.
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Is Balo’s disease contagious?

There is no evidence to suggest that Balo’s disease is contagious.
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How is Balo’s disease different from MS?

Balos’s disease is sometimes considered a variant of MS because so many of the symptoms are similar to those seen in MS. In Balo’s disease, unlike in most cases of MS, there is an unusual, concentric ring pattern seen on MRI images and in tissue specimens. Not all people diagnosed with Balo’s disease progress to MS.
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What are the treatments for Balo’s disease?

There is no cure for Balo’s disease at this time and no medications have been specifically approved to treat it. The standard of care for early treatment of Balo’s disease includes treatment with corticosteroids to decrease inflammation in the affected areas of the brain and spinal cord. Treatment to relieve symptoms, such as spasticity, weakness, pain, or ataxia, includes treatment with certain medications and referral to rehabilitation specialists.

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