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Epstein-Barr virus, a cause of multiple sclerosis

Epstein-Barr virus

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease that affects 2.8 million people worldwide. It is a disease for which there is still no definitive cure.

It is a autoimmune disease a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that attacks the myelin sheaths. These sheaths protect neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The causes are currently unknown, although it is known that there are a number of genetic and environmental factors that can trigger it. At present, it is not clear why it affects some people and not others.

Study on the cause of multiple sclerosis

A major cause of its occurrence is likely to be infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), according to a study led by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.

Epstein-Barr is a herpes virus that can cause infectious mononucleosis and becomes a lifelong infection.

A study of more than ten million US military personnel over 20 years has shown that this virus could be one of the main culprits in the disease. multiple sclerosis (MS)because it multiplies the risk of the disease. However, they have not been able to directly prove a causal relationship.

With this research, the scientists intended to determine the connection between Epstein-Barr disease and the multiple sclerosis. The study found that 5% were negative for EBV when they started military service and 955 eventually developed MS.

Researchers have compared the evolution of those who were subsequently infected and those who did not become infected. The results of the study, which were published on 13 January in the Science magazine, The researchers claim that the risk of developing multiple sclerosis increases 32-fold after infection with the Epstein-Barr virus.

"For several years, our team and others have been investigating the hypothesis that EBV causes multiple sclerosis, but this is the first study to provide convincing evidence of causality," says Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard Chan School and lead author of the study. "This is a big step forward because it points to the fact that most cases of multiple sclerosis could be prevented by stopping Epstein-Barr infection and that targeting this virus could lead to finding a way to prevent the disease. cure for multiple sclerosis".

Relationship between Epstein-Barr Virus and Multiple Sclerosis

Establishing a causal relationship between the virus and the disease has been complicated because Epstein-Barr infects approximately 95% of adults and, conversely, Epstein-Barr infects approximately 95% of adults.Multiple sclerosis is a relatively rare disease. and the onset of symptoms begins about 10 years after infection.

Serum levels of neurofilament light chain, a biomarker of nerve generation typical of multiple sclerosis, increased only after EBV infection.

The findings cannot be explained by any MS risk factor and suggest that Epstein-Barr virus could be the main cause of multiple sclerosis.

This research could lead to the discovery of a cure for multiple sclerosis.

Alberto Ascherio, says that the delay between infection and disease onset may be partly due to the fact that symptoms were not detected during the early stages and partly due to the evolution of the relationship between EBV and the disease. the patient's immune systemwhich is repeatedly stimulated when the latent virus is reactivated.

At Biosalud Day Hospital we carry out a series of diagnostic tests to detect multiple sclerosis, including an MRI scan to determine the extent of the lesions. Demyelination most frequently occurs in the brain mass, brainstem or spinal cord.
At our clinic, specialising in biological medicine, We also studied the patient's medical history, and tried to clarify the reasons and causal factors of this chronic pathology.

After stopping the autoimmune process with the personalised treatment applied, the next step is to regain lost functionality with regenerative treatment.

If you need more information, at Biosalud we advise patients and recommend the best option from a medical and professional point of view.

Mariano Bueno

Dr. Mariano Bueno and his team

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