Health

One of the most common viruses in the world can increase the risk of MS

According to new research, people are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life when infected with one of the most common viruses in the world.

A Harvard study published Thursday in Science magazine examined blood samples from more than 10 million people between 1993 and 2013 (samples are regularly collected and stored from members’ blood samples. Is from the US military). The proportion of MS in people infected with the Epstein-Barr virus has increased 32-fold. On the other hand, infection with other viruses did not make a difference in the diagnosis of MS.

“This is a big step because it suggests that stopping EBV infection can prevent most MS cases,” said senior research author Dr. Alberto Asherio. “Targeting EBV can lead to the discovery of cures for MS.”

Most people are exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus

Although MS is relatively rare, the findings are complicated by the fact that almost everyone is exposed to Epstein-Barr at some point in their lives. Epstein-Barr is a common herpesvirus that is one of the most prevalent human viruses in the world. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people are infected at some point in their lives, often in childhood. It spreads through saliva and is often transmitted among children who share food and toys. Adults can also spread Epstein-Barr through sexual contact.

For most people, Epstein-Barr is considered fairly harmless. Children are usually asymptomatic, but in rare cases, the virus can cause swelling of the lymph nodes and swelling of the spleen. It can also lead to mononucleosis (mononucleosis) and other illnesses. Epstein-Barr stays in the body and most people remain inactive. In fact, only 5.3% of military personnel who underwent blood tests showed no signs of Epstein-Barr when they attended.

According to the survey, in 20 years, 801 service members developed MS, but 1,566 did not. Only one patient with MS previously did not have Epstein-Barr.

MS is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord. The immune system attacks the protective coatings of nerve fibers, causing permanent damage to nerves and impeding clear communication between the brain and other parts of the body. This can lead to fatigue, vision problems, difficulty walking, tremors, and indistinct speech.

Epstein-Barr “Cause, not MS Result”

Much is still unknown about the condition, such as what causes it and why it tends to appear very different from person to person. There is no cure.

According to the Associated Press, the findings “strongly suggest” that Epstein-Barr’s contract is “the cause, not the result of MS.” “Currently, there is no effective way to prevent or treat EBV infection. However, targeting the virus with EBV vaccines or EBV-specific antivirals may ultimately prevent or cure MS. . ”

As the New York Times explains, it’s clear that Epstein-Barr isn’t the only cause of MS, as most people who have a contract with Epstein-Barr aren’t diagnosed with MS. But links are important.

Several other known factors, including family history and genetics, contribute to MS: 900 abnormal genes were found in people with MS, the New York Times reported. According to the Mayo Clinic, most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40, but those who smoke, live in warm climates, and have low vitamin D levels are more likely to develop MS. More women than men develop MS.

One in 400 Canadians has multiple sclerosis, and today more than 90,000 Canadians have progressive disease.


Maija Kappler is a reporter and editor of Healthing.She can be contacted at mkappler@postmedia.com

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One of the most common viruses in the world can increase the risk of MS

Source link One of the most common viruses in the world can increase the risk of MS

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