Our team of specialists at the Washington University Pediatric MS & Demyelinating Diseases Center focuses it efforts on understanding, diagnosis, treating diseases affecting the myelin sheath, or protective covering, of neurons. This process, known as demyelination, leads to the impairment of nerve conduction and signals. The areas we study and treat include:

Autoimmune Demyelinating Diseases

In autoimmune demyelinating diseases, the body’s own immune system can attack healthy cells.

Autoimmune Encephalopathies

Autoimmune encephalopathies involve a change in thinking (or cognition) related to immune system activity in the brain.


Leukodystrophies are diseases that are mostly inherited and involve damage to the myelin surrounding nerve cells (also known as “white matter”).

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the Central Nervous System (CNS) — the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.