How is progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) diagnosed? Should I worry?

PML is a brain infection that is caused by the JC virus. Exposure to this virus is common, but it generally causes problems only in patients who have been treated with aggressive immunosuppressive therapy, such as chemotherapy for cancer. PML has also been reported in patients receiving drugs to treat…...

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Are there any alternative therapies for vasculitis?

There is no clear data on alternative therapies for vasculitis. Since we do not know the immunologic effects of medications such as over-the-counter supplements, they may be associated with unwanted effects related to stimulation of the immune system....

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IL-5 – What diseases have high levels of IL-5? How are the treated? Do you know when trials of IL-5 will take place? Will EGPA patients be eligible to participate?

Mepolizumab is an IL-5-blocking antibody and there is enthusiasm for studying it in EGPA/Churg-Strauss. Trials have been proposed, but I do not whether and when they will start....

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Mepolizumab: What is the toxicity of this drug? Side effects? Effects on pregnancy? What is the drug indicated for now?

This drug is still considered investigational and is not generally available. It has been studied in small numbers of patients with Churg-Strauss syndrome and hypereosinophilic syndromes, and although it has appeared safe in these studies, the numbers of patients are too small to draw any conclusions about safety and side…...

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Medrol vs prednisone? Indications? Contraindications?

Prednisone needs to be modified in the liver in order to be active, but methylprednisolone (Medrol) and prednisolone do not. Theoretically, some people, whether due to liver disease or a deficiency in the liver enzyme, may not convert prednisone to its active metabolite efficiently and would do better on a…...

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