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 Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>