Mono, EBV linked to MS

By Sari Huhtala

A study published in the journal of the American Academy of Neurology found that individuals who had mononucleosis, which is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), are more likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who did not have mono.

Considering the fact that, by the age of 19, about 90 per cent of the population have been exposed to EBV, this study is worth paying attention to. Of the 90 per cent, about 40 per cent of infected individuals will get mononucleosis, according to a National Institute of Health study. EBV, human herpesvirus-4, manifests as mononucleosis in adolescence or adulthood.

Past studies have found a link between mono and MS among white populations, but this study looked at all races. For the study, which spanned three years, researchers recruited 1,090 black, Hispanic and white people. Each group had a near balance of healthy people, people with MS and people with its precursor (clinically isolated symptoms).

All participants had a blood test to test for Epstein-Barr antibodies, and were asked if they ever had mono. Researchers found “a strong biological link for all three racial groups.”

After accounting for other factors that could affect risk of developing MS, they found that whites who had mono were twice as likely to develop MS; Hispanics were slightly less than four times as likely to develop MS if they had mono; and blacks were more than four times more likely to develop MS if they had mono.

A National Institute of Health Study – The Role of Epstein-Barr Virus in Multiple Sclerosis: from Molecular Pathophysiology to in Vivo Imaging – suggests that “EBV potentially interacts with both genetic and environmental factors to increase susceptibility and severity of MS.”

Researchers also found that EBV could contribute to MS “indirectly by activating silent human endogenous retrovirus-W.”

They also note that activation of the retrovirus-W is linked to developing cancer and autoimmune conditions.

The good news is that lifestyle choices – how well one lives, eats, sleeps, thinks, exercises, breathes – are the greatest determinants of one’s health. Choose health, or choose dis-ease?  

Great information on Epstein-Barr virus can be found at www.medicalmedium.com/blog/epstein-barr-virus where the Medical Medium explains how EBV is a silent epidemic that is the root cause of all kinds of autoimmune conditions, and fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Sari Huhtala is the publisher and editor of Alive and Fit Magazine. She has over 25 years experience in journalism, over 15 years as a certified personal trainer and fitness specialist, as well as over 20 years as a wellness advocate.

Photo credit: ©[taidundua] via Canva

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