Marburg Multiple Sclerosis, also known as Fulminant MS, is a deadly variant of multiple sclerosis which was first named by the Austrian neurologist Otto Marburg. It is often termed malignant and leads to a significant level of disability in less than 5 years from the first symptom.


Level of malignancy in Fulminant Multiple Sclerosis


This is a very dangerous form of MS. The disease is very aggressive and relentlessly advances at a very rapid pace. It invariably leads to disability and death if not treated promptly. It tends to strike in younger people and is usually preceded by fever. The term Fulminant is a carry-over from the times when disease modifying therapy was practiced. The good news is that it is very rare and people affected by this respond well to treatment.


Diagnosis of Fulminant MS


Fulminant MS can be diagnosed through an MRI scan in most cases. If it forms as a lesion, it is often indistinguishable from a brain tumour or an abscess. In such cases a biopsy and craniotomy may need to be conducted to rule out other pathologies. It is quite indistinguishable from a classic case of MS. In fact, tests should also rule out NeuromyelitisOptica, Balo’s concentric sclerosis and Schilder’s disease. These diseases overlap with MS and should not be confused. It is highly lethal, but responds to the drug Mitoxantrone and Alemtuzumab. These are given with high dosages of steroids. It has also been found to be responsive to autologous stem cell transplantation. There have been reports of patients recovering from Fulminant MS with the aid of Natalizumab.


Precautions while treating Fulminant Multiple Sclerosis patient


These are primarily for people treating a patient infected by Fulminant Multiple Sclerosis. Every precaution should be taken when handling the body fluids of an infected patient. Extra care should be taken when handling the spinal fluid. Gloves should be worn when a lumbar puncture is being done. In case of accidental skin contamination, the area should be thoroughly rinsed with a 1:10 dilution of sodium hypochlorite. Specimens from infected patients should be clearly marked so that laboratories will handle the sample carefully besides disposing them in an appropriate manner. The patient should be advised to take adequate precautions when handling body fluids as they are a source of containment. It is also a good idea for the patient to be isolated, considering how dangerous Fulminant MS is. Alternate treatment has not been found to be effective for patients suffering from this strain.