Demyelinating diseases

Stephen Black sblack at UBISHOPS.CA
Tue Sep 17 09:12:48 EST 1996

I've been discussing saltatory conduction and myelination with my 
class in physiological psychology. Demyelinating diseases came up. Hence 
the following question:

Both multiple sclerosis (MS and adrenoleukodystrophy (ALS, the disease 
portrayed in the film Lorenzo's oil) are demyelinating diseases. But how 
do they differ?

I understand that MS is likely an environmentally-caused (viral) 
auto-immune disease, and ALS is a sex-linked genetic disorder; also that 
ALS onset is in childhood, MS in adulthood.

But are there characteristic differences in symptoms? And is the site and 
extent of damage to the myelin different in the two disorders?

Information, preferably with references, would be appreciated.


Stephen Black, Ph.D.                      tel: (819) 822-9600 ext 470
Department of Psychology                  fax: (819) 822-9661
Bishop's University                    e-mail: sblack at
Lennoxville, Quebec               
J1M 1Z7

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