A Common Virus that Many have Throughout their Lives has the Potential to Cause Multiple Sclerosis

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Most people have encountered the Epstein-Barr virus at some point in their lives.

Some patients may develop multiple sclerosis as a result of a common virus that most people have at some point in their lives. Researchers at the University of Texas have discovered that the Epstein-Barr virus may be the cause of an autoimmune disorder.

In the world, 36 out of every 100,000 people have multiple sclerosis. The immune system of the body wrongly targets the fatty sheath, known as myelin, that covers nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord when someone has multiple sclerosis.

This occurs when a patient exhibits the initial signs of multiple sclerosis without necessarily having a diagnosis.

Researchers are unable to determine the exact cause of Multiple Sclerosis because viral infections typically manifest several years prior to the autoimmune disease’s onset.

The University of Texas Health Science Center’s Assaf Gottlieb discovered that virus-infected cells are “present in the cerebrospinal fluid at the earliest stages of MS, suggesting that they are likely to play an important role in pathogenesis.”

“This strongly suggests that these T cells are either causing the disease or contributing to it in some way,” said J William Lindsey, a neurologist at UTHealth and research author. Experiments are being conducted to determine the potential functions of these cells.”

The researchers are studying the possible effects on the health conditions that could be caused by these viruses.