EBV and genetics

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EBV and genetics

Postby dignan » Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:53 pm

Interesting, not sure if this has been posted already...

Investigators Explore MS Risk Conferred by Combination of Gene and Virus

A new study suggests that if a person has a specific gene and has high serum levels of antibodies to a specific virus, the person’s risk of developing multiple sclerosis is greatly magnified, much more than having either risk factor alone. Drs. Philip De Jager, Alberto Ascherio and colleagues from Harvard and other institutions found that those with two previously identified MS risk factors – an immune gene known as HLA DR15 and antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus in the blood serum – were nine times more likely to develop MS than those without that gene and with low levels of viral antibodies. The study, published in a special MS-themed issue of the journal Neurology (70: 1113-18 March 25, 2008 Part 2), underscores the importance of studying as yet little understood interactions between genes and the environment that contribute to MS susceptibility.

for the rest of the article:

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/news/n ... px?nid=203
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Postby Terry » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:52 am

She notes that one possible reason why studies focusing on single risk factors have been inconsistent in MS may be that MS involves “multiple, interacting risk factors from both the genetic and environmental realms.”

This seems to me like the correct line of thinking. It reminds me of the lottery, though. So many possible combinations that it would be more likely to be struck by lightning than to hit the right combination. Hopefully they will identify one gene responsible, not many, then they can start moving through the long list of pathogens. I think there is more than one pathogen responsible, hopefully only one gene. That would make it easier.
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Postby Sandrine » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:20 am

I'm quite sure its a combination of genes and infections (as EBV) during childhood and adolescense. And different combinations maybe cause the different kinds of MS (I think it's not only one disease anyway). They are so many hints that fit to this theory...

This is my opinion as a scientist/biologist and as a person concerned - my sister and me for example have obviously a similar genetic background, the same infections, e.g. EBV at the same age. We were both diagnosed within 6 weeks because we had our first relapse nearly simultaneously, had the same onset/kind of relapse, the same lesion load, the same number of new lesions in the control MRI, the same number of relapses, relapses usually at the same time. We have not lived together for 8 years, by the way. This is maybe an extreme case, and the studies with siblings with MS I've read are not consistent with "our" story, they show only similarities.


P.S. Sorry for my English, hope, it's not too difficult to understand.
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