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BACKGROUND: Research using experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) models accounts for almost 20% of the papers. published in multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: We performed a literature review of papers indexed with ISI Web of Science on EAE and MS over the last 30 years and a detailed analysis of studies of molecular pathways in EAE published in 2008 and 2009. RESULTS: The impact of EAE studies declines more rapidly than other studies published on MS (EAE cited corrected half-life = 4·00 years vs. MS cited corrected half-life = 9·66 years, P < 0·0001). The pathology of EAE differs quite markedly from that observed in the human disease. EAE has implicated many different genes as important to pathogenesis but only a minority of these are supported by human studies. CONCLUSIONS: Future research should critically appraise precisely what is being modelled by EAE before drawing conclusions about human disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Clin Invest

Publication Date





1254 - 1258


Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Humans, Multiple Sclerosis