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.
While Balo’s disease often results in severe disability or death within months, an increasing number of patients have been reported to survive or to have spontaneous remission with no further symptoms. It is also possible to have Balo’s disease and have no symptoms.
Reviewed by Elias Sotirchos, MD November 2019