Researchers identify the virus that causes multiple sclerosis

Researchers identify the virus that causes multiple sclerosis

This discovery raises hope that a future treatment can be developed, making it possible to treat this disease that affects approximately 2.8 million people in the world.

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Multiple sclerosis is most likely caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, according to a new study by US researchers. For the first time, they identified the person responsible for this autoimmune disease. They present their findings in a study Published this week in the prestigious magazine Science (in English). they show it Epstein barr virus Essential for the development of multiple sclerosis, even if not everyone with the disease develops it.

The hypothesis has been studied for several years, but it is difficult to prove it, especially because this virus is very common, and symptoms of the disease begin only about ten years after infection.

Over twenty years, researchers followed more than 10 million young men in the US military, 955 of whom were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while serving. According to this work, the risk of developing multiple sclerosis increased 32 times after infection with the Epstein-Barr virus, but remained unchanged after infection with other viruses.

that it “The first study that provided convincing evidence of causation”Alberto Ashrio, lead author and professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “This is an important step, as it indicates that most cases of multiple sclerosis can be prevented by stopping the Epstein-Barr virus infection.He added in a press release. Targeting this virus could lead to the discovery of a cure.” The US company Moderna announced last week that it had begun clinical trials in humans of a vaccine against the Epstein-Barr virus..

Multiple sclerosis, which affects Approximately 2.8 million people worldwide, It is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It causes a malfunction in the immune system that attacks myelin, the sheath used to protect nerve fibers. The disease develops by “attacks”, and is very variable from one patient to another. But it can lead to serious consequences, and is a common cause of disability in young people.

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