At present, while there is no cause known for this condition, patients with MS seem to have genetic vulnerability to certain environmental factors that could trigger this condition, such as the Epstein-Barr virus. Scientists at the University of Granada have found a relation between the Epstein-Barr virus –which belongs to the herpesviruses family–and the development of this condition
The Epstein-Barr (EVB) virus –belonging to the herpesviruses family, which also includes the herpes simplex virus and the cytomegalovirus– is one of the environmental factors that might cause multiple sclerosis, a condition affecting the central nervous system, which causes are unknown. This has been confirmed by
Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating condition affecting the central nervous system. Although the cause for this condition is unknown, patients with MS seem to have genetic vulnerability to certain environmental factors that could trigger this condition.
While other studies have tried to ellucidate whether infection with the Epstein-Barr virus could be considered a risk factor in multiple sclerosis, what
A 151-patient sample
In a sample of 76 healthy individuals and 75 patients with multiple sclerosis, researchers sought a pattern that would show an association between this virus and multiple sclerosis. Thus, they determined the presence of ant¡bodies to Epstein-Barr virus antigens synthetized within the central nervous system. Simultaneously, they identified viral DNA to measure antibody levels to EBV within the central nervous system, and the presence of EBV DNA respectively.
This piece of research was conducted by Olivia del Carmen
The researchers found a statistically significant association between viral infection and multiple sclerosis starting from the detection of markers that essentially indicate an infection in the past, while markers that indicate recent infection or reactivation are not relevant.
The researcher Olivia del Carmen
This study found an association between MS and some viral infection markers “but, to obtain a definitive conclusion, further research is needed with a significant number of patients that combine different microbiological techniques, where the different viral infection markers are recorded, and assessing patients’ clinical state even years before the onset of the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis”.
- Relation between Epstein-Barr virus and Multiple Sclerosis. Analytic study of scientific production. European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. 2010.
- New Strategies and Patent Therapeutics in EBV-Associated Diseases. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry. 2010.