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Abstract

Despite many years of intensive research, multiple sclerosis (MS) defies understanding and treatment remains suboptimal. The prevailing hypothesis is that MS is immune mediated and that experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a suitable model to elucidate pathogenesis and devise therapy. This review examines critically the validity that EAE is an adequate and useful animal model of MS and finds credible evidence lacking. EAE represents more a model of acute central nervous system inflammation than the counterpart of MS. We propose to reconsider the utilization of EAE, especially when this model is used to define therapy. This will also force us to examine MS without the restraints imposed by EAE, as to what it is, rather than what it looks like. Ann Neurol 2005;58:939–945