Study links common virus to MS – Harvard Health

0
6

Can plant-based diets lower your risk of prostate cancer?
Curbing nearsightedness in children: Can outdoor time help?
Holiday arguments brewing? Here’s how to defuse them
Aspirin and bone health: Is there a connection?
Don’t want to go to bed? Dealing with bedtime procrastination
Struggling with migraine hangovers? Read this
Does cannabis actually relieve pain — or is something else going on?
Jump-start a healthier New Year with four holiday eating tips
Sibling rivalry is normal — but is it helpful or harmful?
Prostate cancer: How long should hormonal therapy last?
Diseases & Conditions
Harvard researchers say that multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological illness that affects the brain and spinal cord, may be triggered by infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). EBV is the most common cause of mononucleosis.
The findings, published online Jan. 13, 2022, by Science, came from an analysis of blood samples taken every other year from young adults serving in the U.S. military over a 20-year period. Among more than 10 million people included in the study, 955 were diagnosed with MS during their military service. Those individuals who had evidence of previous infection with the Epstein-Barr virus had 32 times the risk of developing MS compared with those who never were affected by the virus. There was no change in MS risk for those who had tested positive for a panel of other common viral infections, only for Epstein-Barr virus.
The researchers said that Epstein-Barr virus can establish a persistent, silent infection that may trigger the onset of MS in some people. But it’s important to note that while 95% of adults are estimated to have been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus, only a very small number go on to develop MS.
Other studies have also shown a possible link between EBV infection and MS, and these study results bolster that hypothesis. It’s possible that a vaccine to prevent Epstein-Barr infections could help to prevent MS, or that studies of the virus could lead to new MS treatments. But more research is needed.
Image: ART4STOCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Diseases & Conditions
Diseases & Conditions
Diseases & Conditions
You might also be interested in…
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!
© 2022 by The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Do not sell my personal information | Privacy Policy
Thanks for visiting. Don’t miss your FREE gift.
The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School
Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.
Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School
Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss…from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.
BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness
Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.
Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.

source