Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Epstein-Barr virus may be associated with multiple sclerosis

12.04.2006


Young adults with high levels of antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that most often causes mononucleosis, may be more likely to develop multiple sclerosis 15 to 20 years later, according to a study posted online today that will appear in the June 2006 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.



Researchers have long suspected that external factors may influence the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, according to background information in the article. Some studies have suggested that the Epstein-Barr virus, which affects up to 96 percent of Americans by the time they reach age 35 to 40 years, may play a role.

Gerald N. DeLorenze, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif., and colleagues examined the records of patients who joined a health plan between 1965 and 1974, when they were an average of 32.4 years old. The patients had undergone multiple examinations, answered questions about their health and behaviors and submitted blood samples, which were processed and stored at cold temperatures. Between 1995 and 1999, the researchers searched medical records maintained by the health plan and selected 42 individuals with MS who had blood samples in storage. Three people with blood samples but without MS were matched to each MS patient by age, sex and date of blood collection. The blood samples of all participants were then analyzed to determine the levels of antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus. Measuring antibodies, proteins produced by the body to fight infection, is one way to determine exposure to or presence of a particular virus in a person’s body.


The 36 women and six men who developed MS had their first symptoms at an average age of 45 years and an average of 15 years after their blood was collected. The average concentration of anti–Epstein-Barr virus antibodies was significantly higher among individuals who had developed MS than among those who hadn’t--those with four times the level of antibodies were approximately twice as likely to develop MS. The elevated levels became evident between 15 and 20 years before patients first experienced the neurological symptoms of MS and remained higher afterward, the researchers reported.

Researchers don’t yet understand how the Epstein-Barr virus causes the body to attack its own central nervous system, as it does in MS. "The mounting evidence that relates Epstein-Barr virus infection to other autoimmune diseases, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), suggests that Epstein-Barr virus may have a broad role in predisposing to autoimmunity," or failure of the immune system to recognize the body’s own tissues, the authors conclude. "A fine understanding of the mechanisms that connect Epstein-Barr virus infection to MS is important because it will provide the basis for the translation of this epidemiologic finding into new ways to treat and prevent MS."

Todd Datz | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jamamedia.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht Flexible sensors can detect movement in GI tract
11.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

Im Focus: New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater

Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study suggests oysters offer hot spot for reducing nutrient pollution

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

17.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

World first for reading digitally encoded synthetic molecules

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>