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Multiple Sclerosis News – Is EBV anything new?

I have tendencies to become little bit ironical but let´s forget it. The latest huge study done among US military personnel is actually great news! And not just for MS patients …

Couple days ago the famous magazine Science published results of pretty big study​1​ focused on MS (multiple sclerosis) research. I need to say I am very happy and little bit excited what´s next. While I have been assigned couple of pseudoscience labels in past (obvious fouls), I as well as others who ended in the same category have a small reason to celebrate. So what is this new study about, is that anything new? Not really, but I see that as a massive evidence of scientific nature and confirmation that even my theory is not that crazy. It is actually 100% in line with that study. And is it just me? No! I am Mr. Nobody, but if you ever read something from Anthony William then you have definitely heard about EBV and MS link before. Of course Mr. William describes things in a little bit weird way – at least sometimes and I would tend to argue with him in friendly mode, regarding MS he is most likely right.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system of unknown etiology. We tested the hypothesis that MS is caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in a cohort comprising more than 10 million young adults on active duty in the US military, 955 of whom were diagnosed with MS during their period of service. Risk of MS increased 32-fold after infection with EBV but was not increased after infection with other viruses, including the similarly transmitted cytomegalovirus. Serum levels of neurofilament light chain, a biomarker of neuroaxonal degeneration, increased only after EBV seroconversion. These findings cannot be explained by any known risk factor for MS and suggest EBV as the leading cause of MS.

Everyone who knows something about MS indeed had to hear about EBV. But the problem was always the same – EBV is virus so common that science has been having hard times to accuse it from causing something as rare as MS. You know, if you simply compare patient set with healthy control set and you have EBV positives in both groups in a substantial amount then it is getting complex and ambiguous. I have dealed with this on my website in a pretty extensive way – search for MS or multiple scleoris on this website. Below sentence is important.

Causality implies that some individuals who developed MS after EBV infection would not have developed MS if they had not been infected with EBV.​1​

As far as I know it is historically known EBV is a factor in MS for a long time. This study which could leverage huge database of samples, more over taken in regular intervals, now tends to confirm EBV as the real cause of nasty MS disease. The scientists also focused on analysis of many other known viruses to rule out some “additional viral noise” and still ended with EBV consistently. It is a great news because MS is treated often using immunosuppression not by antivirotics – this was subject of heavy critics from my side, despite I am no expert in virology or imunology, I just tend to use my brain!

One of the most effective treatments for MS is anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies, which deplete circulating memory B cells, the primary site of persistent latent EBV infection (36). This, and preliminary results obtained with EBV-specific T cell therapy (37), suggest that EBV, in addition to causing MS, contributes to MS clinical course, which could thus be potentially modified by antivirals. Directly targeting EBV could have major advantages compared with anti-CD20–based therapies, which have to be administered by intravenous infusion and may increase the risk of infections (36).​1​

With MS there is also one noticeable thing. There are many patients who have MS diagnosis but who are considered kind of light patients with controlled progression. They are mobile and live a normal life but they have certain minor problems and they live in certain fear that their state can worsen. Then there are patients with very tough MS state – they are basically paralyzed, they are on electronic wheel chair. I also saw cases where mothers were mobile only with a great effort and by using sticks. If we now know the EBV virus is most likely (science confirmed that with huge study now, no pseudoscience please!) causing not just mono but also MS and we also know practically all people (95% of all humans) are EBV sero-positive we can conclude there is some sort of additional trigger factor which can turn one person from healthy – just EBV positive, like COVID positive with no symptoms whatsoever, to controlled MS to heavy MS (immobile). This means a real shift in human thinking I am calling for can come soon. In media I heard statements like “so far there was no solid theory on how EBV could cause MS” which sounded me like a bad joke. I do apologize but how is this possible? Perhaps just the media kind of miscommunicated this news. If anyone is interested in my analysis of how EBV can simply make you sick (and give rise to autoimmune disease) please read my Autoimmunity 2.0 post.

I really consider this a great news because it can help people to pay more attention to all those amateur or semi-amateur people including me who analyze diseases and try to help humans all over the world to beat them, to get healed (in my case for free, total altruism 😉). I also analyzed MS from different reasons. If things go well then soon we can read something similar and positive in the context of AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS, the disease which I analyzed exclusivelly and where I blame another EBV like common virus (same family, same “stealth” property) which humans have been overlooking so far (VZV​2​), but not just this single virus. My theory is multi-factorial and comprise few more factors. If you put “AND” between each you can possibly get the ALS equation … And once having it totally new treatments can start to be developed, a race for ALS cure would begin …

As usually wishing everyone good health and stay strong if already fighting with something!

References

  1. 1.
    Bjornevik K, Cortese M, Healy BC, et al. Longitudinal analysis reveals high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus associated with multiple sclerosis. Science. Published online January 21, 2022. doi:10.1126/science.abj8222
  2. 2.
    Varicella Zoster Virus. Wikipedia. Accessed January 2022. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varicella_zoster_virus
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