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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.

Reviewed by Elias Sotirchos, MD November 2019
 
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Is Balo’s disease contagious?

There is no evidence to suggest that Balo’s disease is contagious.

Reviewed by Elias Sotirchos, MD November 2019
 
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How is Balo’s disease different from 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.

Reviewed by Elias Sotirchos, MD November 2019
 
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What are the treatments for Balo’s disease?

Since Balo’s is a rare disease, clinical trials are lacking, and no medications have been specifically approved to treat it. However, treatment of Balo’s disease could include corticosteroids to decrease inflammation in the affected areas of the brain and spinal cord. Other treatments may include plasma exchange, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), and/or chemotherapy (such as cyclophosphamide). Treatment to relieve symptoms, such as spasticity, weakness, pain, or ataxia, includes certain medications and referral to rehabilitation specialists.

Reviewed by Elias Sotirchos, MD November 2019
 

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