Multiple Sclerosis Is Likely Caused by a Virus: A study of 10 million US military personnel provides the most convincing evidence yet that multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complication of infection by the Epstein-Barr herpesvirus (EBV). Researchers show that contracting EBV increased MS risk 32-fold.

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A lot of autoimmune diseases have been linked to previous virus infections (Ex. herpesviruses and MS/RA/Lupus, enteroviruses and type 1 diabetes). While most people are EBV positive, the population of MS patients who are also EBV negative is basically non-existent. And individuals who contracted EBV later in life resulting in infectious mononucleosis are much more likely to develop MS in their lifetime compared to the majority of people who are first infected with EBV in the first few years of life. A lot of MS patients also respond well to B cell depletion therapies. Coincidentally, these are the cells which EBV latently infects. So potentially, these depletion therapies may actually be removing this viral reservoir.


I’ve heard it speculated that a lot of autoimmune diseases may be caused or triggered by a virus. A long-term friend of mine has type 1 diabetes he developed rapidly at age 13. It happened shortly after he had some kind of unknown, nasty virus, and he’s gradually developed other autoimmune problems over the years since then. Purely anecdotal in this case, but I’ve certainly heard it speculated on. Seems every few years we find a disease or class of diseases that seem to hinge on a past viral infection.


It’s worth pointing out that upwards of 90% of the adult population is positive for EBV. So while I don’t doubt that EBV could be a contributing factor for MS, the vast majority of people are not getting this complication.


“Why would I get vaccinated for something with such a high survival rate?” THIS is why. The struggle for most us docs trying to explain why getting vaccinated is important not just now, but for years later. Everyone is worried about vaccine long-term side effects but they couldn’t give two farks about the potential for conditions like this popping up from viral infections. Already know HPV increases risk for cervical cancer, then there’s this example and several others, already seeing COVID cause kidney problems. Hopefully, research like this keeps happening!


Medically retired Marine dx w/ MS 2014 It sucks