marcstck wrote: This research does not show that EBV is the sole cause of multiple sclerosis. It does strongly suggest, though, that EBV plays a role in the MS disease process. It is likely that EBV in combination with a genetic predisposition and some other environmental trigger (such as vitamin D deficiency, or another chronic infection) sets off the immune cascade that we know as multiple sclerosis.
Ever since my dx, I've pretty much disregarded the EBV possibility because I'd had negative mono testing long ago. But several posts in this thread, like the one above, led me to review my memories a bit more.
Of course, my experience lends little to no enlightenment to the topic, but...I do like to tell stories.
When I was in college (about age 20), I roomed for awhile with my sister, who came down with mono. I took care of her until they finally sent her contagious self home to recover, although we were both sick at the same time. They tested me for mono 2 or 3 times, but I was always negative, even though I continued to have monthly colds/swollen glands/laryngitis like I had all the way through college.
The next fall, I continued with the same swollen glands in my neck that I'd had with every cold since childhood, until the school clinic insisted I get a tonsillectomy as I turned 21. I had no more colds for the rest of the winter!
However, by the next fall, around my 22nd birthday, my sister got to return the caretaker favor when she and a friend had to rescue me at work and literally carry me to the ER when I suddenly couldn't walk (the main reason I date my MS that far back).
So...the idea of chronic infections combined with my family's sickly genetics has caught my attention. In fact, my cousin who also has MS lived close by us in the same dorm. And no, my 2 sisters have never been tested for MS, although I'm generally healthier & more mobile than they are. They really don't want to know...