https://www.mssociety.org.uk/research/l ... lopment-ms
A new study by Professor Alberto Ascherio and colleagues has added some new evidence to support the idea that EBV could be a cause of MS.
What was the study?
The researchers followed more than 10 million young adults from the US military. Over 20 years, they tracked the relationship between new EBV infections and the onset of MS.
Such a large, long-term study is very valuable. Because EBV is so common, we need to look at a huge number of people to find those who haven’t been infected by EBV yet.
Tracking EBV infections and MS development over a long period of time means we can see if there’s evidence the EBV infection comes first. That’s really important for proving causality.
At the start of the study, the team took blood samples to see if people were infected with EBV. They then took samples every two years so they could see who became infected with EBV and when. They also analysed the blood samples for a marker of nerve damage that could be an early sign of MS seen in the years before diagnosis.
What did they find?
Out of 801 people who developed MS, only one person never tested positive for EBV during the study. But most people had already been infected with EBV before the beginning of the study.
So the researchers looked at the 142 people not yet infected with EBV (35 who developed MS and 107 who didn’t). 97% of the people who developed MS became EBV positive. In comparison, only 57% of people who didn’t develop MS became EBV positive.
The risk of developing MS increased 32-fold after EBV infection. But other infections, like a virus called cytomegalovirus, didn’t show the same increased risk for developing MS.
A key new finding is the increase in the marker of nerve damage seen in people who developed MS. Crucially, this was only seen after they became EBV positive.
According to the researchers, their findings can’t be explained by any other known risk factor for developing MS.
- Similar Topics
- Last post