Boston, MA – Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and a team of collaborators have observed for the first time that the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) increases by many folds following infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). “The only way to test these different hypotheses is to do experiments. MS attacks tissue in the brain and spinal cord causing inflammation and demyelination. The identical twin of someone with MS, who shares virtually all the same genes, has only a one in four chance of developing the disease — which suggests that factors other than genetics are involved. The most common form of MS is the relapsing-remitting type: New symptoms appear or existing ones become more severe, followed by periods of partial or total recovery. Vitamin D could be a leading factor contributing to Multiple Sclerosis. One example is varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox.
Scientists studying xenotransplantation – the transplantation of animal organs into a person to replace a failing organ – have had the best luck with pig organs. The prevalence is so high here that the Northwest chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has posted giant billboards around the city for the past several years asking questions like these: Is it the trees? Although genetic predisposition plays an important role in determining susceptibility, past studies have shown that environmental factors are equally important. More than a dozen viruses and bacteria, including measles, canine distemper, human herpes virus-6, Epstein-Barr, and Chlamydia pneumonia have been or are being investigated to determine if they are involved in the development of MS, but so far none has been definitively proven to trigger MS. Stopping multiple sclerosis medications: Getting off multiple sclerosis medications for any reason could trigger flare-ups. In the U.S., multiple sclerosis occurs more frequently in states that are above the 37th parallel than in states below it. Common genetic factors have also been found in some families where there is more than one person with MS.
Virus? The process may require one or several triggers, so that MS may occur only if a series of multiple factors and circumstances are all in place.