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"Researchers Find Further Evidence Linking Epstein-Barr Virus, Risk of MS"

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Dolphin, Apr 7, 2010.

  1. Dolphin

    Dolphin Senior Member

    [I've appended the abstract but think the lay version is useful here also. Given the EBV involvement, I thought some might find it of interest]


  2. Hope123

    Hope123 Senior Member

    This is interesting tomk. What I like about it is that it traced healthy people from the time before they had EBV.

    The methods used are similar to a studies on lupus from the University of Oklahoma, which also took blood from military recruit repositiories, and was able to show that the first autoimmune antibodies developed in lupus cross-react with antibodies developed to EBV. This implied that EBV could be the trigger starting lupus, which then propogates and blossoms unfortunately. Fascinating stuff. I suspect the MS researchers might look start to look at MS antibodies and see whether they cross-react with EBV.
  3. Dr. Yes

    Dr. Yes Shame on You

    Wow. That's all I have to say for now. I wonder if these researchers will look at HHV-6 as well, in that or other neurological diseases. I know the HHV-6 Foundation has suggested links with that virus as well; will have to check.
  4. FernRhizome

    FernRhizome Senior Member

    yikes! what's the chance of having CFS with elevated EBV and then ALSO getting MS????? ~Fern
  5. leelaplay

    leelaplay member

    MS Risk Linked to Smoking and EB Viral Antibodies

    By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today
    Published: April 07, 2010
    Reviewed by Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and
    Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner

    [if: and now this news on top of the stud tomk posted]

    * Explain to interested patients that this study found a link between smoking, antibody response to Epstein-Barr virus, and the risk of multiple sclerosis.

    Smoking appears to increase the chances of developing multiple sclerosis in people who already have one of the established risk factors for the disease, researchers said.

    In patients with high antibody levels against Epstein-Barr virus -- known to enhance the risk of MS -- smoking nearly doubled the chances of developing the illness, according to Claire Simon, ScD, of Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues.

    On the other hand, smoking did not modify the risk associated with another factor, the HLA-DRB1*1501 immune system haplotype in Caucasians, Simon and colleagues wrote online in Neurology.

    The finding comes from an analysis of three case-control studies of MS -- the American Nurses' Health Study/Nurses' Health Study II, the Tasmanian MS Study in Australia, and a Swedish MS study.

    "The consistency of an association between MS, smoking, and the body's immune response to the Epstein-Barr virus based on these three distinct, geographically diverse studies suggests this finding is not due to chance," Simon said in a prepared statement.

    The link "may provide clues as to why certain individuals develop MS while others do not," she said.

    The link between a powerful antibody response to Epstein-Barr virus and MS has been known for some time. (See Epstein-Barr Linked to Multiple Sclerosis)

    A smoking history and the immune system variant have also been linked to the disease. Simon and colleagues recently reported that the immune system variant and response to Epstein-Barr are independent risk factors, but the role of smoking and possible three-way interactions was not known.

    To help clarify the issue, they looked at the three studies, which involved a total of 442 people with MS and 865 healthy controls.

    Participants were stratified according to Epstein-Barr antibody levels; for those below the median, there was no association between past or current smoking and the risk of MS.

    However, for those above the median, the researchers found, having smoked at any time was associated with a 70% increase in risk. (The odds ratio was 1.7, with a 95% confidence interval from 1.1 to 2.6, which was significant at P=0.004.)

    And the effect of high Epstein-Barr antibody levels was stronger among past or current smokers, they wrote.

    Among those with high antibody levels, the odds ratio for MS among those who had ever smoked was 3.9, with a 95% confidence interval from 2.7 to 5.7, compared with 1.8 among those who had never smoked (with a 95% confidence interval from 1.4 to 2.3.) The interaction was significant at P=0.001.

    On the other hand, Simon and colleagues said, there was no interaction between smoking and the HLA-DRB1*1501 immune system haplotype or between high Epstein-Barr antibody levels and the immune system variant.

    The authors noted that the study is limited by different exposure assessments across studies. They also said it was not possible to account for changes over time in smoking behavior, and few participants had Epstein-Barr antibody levels tested before the onset of MS symptoms.

    Nevertheless, they wrote, the finding seems unlikely to be a chance effect and more study is needed to tease out the mechanism involved.

    The study was supported by the NIH, the National Health and Research Council of Australia, the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, and MS Australia.

    Simon is supported by NIH Kirschstein-NRSA.

    Primary source: Neurology
    Source reference:
    Simon KC, et al "Combined effects of smoking, anti-EBNA antibodies, and HLA-DRB1*1501 on multiple sclerosis risk" Neurology 2010; 74: 1-1.
  6. oerganix

    oerganix Senior Member

    Unfortunately, probably elevated as well. Genetics might also have something to do with whether your CFS progresses to MS. And some PWCs have been "wrongly" diagnosed with MS.

    I have elevated titers to EBV. I have a cousin with MS, another with lupus and they both have autistic kids. I trace all of this suseptibility through our maternal grandmother, bless her sweet soul.

    I just wish the CDC had started a longitudinal study like this on CFS 10 or 20 years ago, as they should have done, instead of pissing away the money and our lives with psuedo-research about "emotional neglect" (cold mother) and/or childhood sexual abuse (neglectful mother). We really need to get those woman-hating old men out of CDC and replace them with women and men who care about everybody.
  7. leelaplay

    leelaplay member

    Pathway in MS May Drive Treatment Outcome

    Pathway in MS May Drive Treatment Outcome
    Posted by SR in News, tags: MS

    [if: I thought the emerging proof for 2 distinct versions of MS was fascinating. Treatment would depend on which sub-group was in]

    Although interferon-β (IFN-β) is used to reduce the number and severity of relapses in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a frustration for both patients and physicians is that the treatment is more effective in some patients than others. Studies by researchers at Stanford University and colleagues have now suggested that there may be two distinct versions of multiple sclerosis and that the effectiveness of β-interferon may depend on the type of disease that the patient has.

    The team found that superficially similar experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis, can be induced either by T helper type 1 (TH1) cells or by TH17 cells. IFN-β was effective in treating TH1-induced EAE but exacerbated disease caused by TH17 cells. In TH1-induced EAE, treatment was accompanied by increased interleukin-10 (IL-10) production whereas in TH17-induced EAE, IL-10 levels were unaffected by treatment, although IL-17 levels were reduced. Both induction of IL-10 production and suppression of IL-17 levels were dependent on IFN-γ; in the absence of IFN-γ signalling, IFN-β did not reduce the symptoms of EAE.

    The team then measured IL-17 levels in blood samples from 26 RRMS patients taken before and about 2 years after starting treatment with IFN-β. When treatment responses were matched to IL-17 levels a clear pattern emerged: patients with a good response had very low levels of the IL-17 family member, IL-17F, whereas those who responded poorly about 30% of the patients had high levels of IL-17F. Although the team caution that the results need to be confirmed in larger groups of patients, the study has the potential to transform treatment for MS by stratifying patients into likely IFN-β responders and non-responders.

    Eventually, a simple blood test could improve the response rate to IFN-β and spare non-responders from the known flu-like side effects of a treatment that could even worsen their disease.

    The study is published in the journal Nature Medicine.
  8. oerganix

    oerganix Senior Member

    And might the two different types also be dependent on genetic differences? hmmm
  9. bel canto

    bel canto Senior Member

    Since MS patients have many, many crossover symptoms with cfs patients, I thought I'd put another reference on here.

    The MS community has been in turmoil since a recent theory has been supported by continuing research. It's thought by some that most MS patients have a venous malformation in major veins that drain from the brain and spinal cord, resulting in reflux that crosses the blood-brain barrier and activates a destructive immune response. The condition is known as CCSVI - chronic cerebral venous insufficiency, and some patients are reporting dramatic results with angiography-type surgeries. There are many major questions out there, including how this theory fits in with the known association of some of the viral infections that are also common with cfids and fm, as well as ms.

    Of interest is also the fact that rrm patients seems to have different patterns of venous insufficiency than pp do. Stanford is involved with this, also.
  10. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

    Upstate SC, USA

    To think where we might be if the appropriate amount of funding would have been given.
  11. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    definately not a herv
  12. starryeyes

    starryeyes Senior Member

    Bay Area, California
    This is not too surprising to me. I've always felt that my illness has a lot in common with MS ever since I came down with EBV at the age of 20. I wonder how CFS and FM are related.

    Hope, it's interesting that EBV is implicated in starting Lupus in people as well. Lupus is another illness that's very similar to MS, CFS and FM.

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