Four patients with progressive demyelinating myelopathy with symptoms spanning six to 25 years are described. There was no clinical evidence of dissemination of lesions in the central nervous system. Radiological evidence of dissemination was present in two cases; in one this was absent at the time of presentation and was only demonstrated after six years of progressive unifocal disease. In one case, pathological examination revealed a solitary area of chronic demyelination. In all cases but one, oligoclonal bands were detected on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) electrophoresis. Some cases of chronically progressive myelopathy result from focal demyelination in the absence of a second lesion demonstrable by clinical, radiographic or necropsy examination.
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