June 10, 2023


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Kissing disease can lead to MS

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It has previously been discovered that there is a connection between the virus that causes, among other things, the kissing disease, and chronic MS. The new study provides further evidence of such an association, Karolinska Institutet wrote in its press release.

“MS is an incredibly complex disease, but our study provides an important piece of the puzzle and could explain why some people develop the disease,” says Olivia Thomas, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet and one of the first authors of the study. .

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The antibodies can attack the insects

Swedish researchers say they have discovered that some individuals have specific antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus, which normally fight infection, that can mistakenly attack the brain and spinal cord and cause damage, Thomas explains.

The researchers analyzed blood samples from more than 700 MS patients and 700 healthy individuals. They found that antibodies that bind to a specific protein in the Epstein-Barr virus, EBNA1, can also bind to a similar protein in the brain and spinal cord called CRYAB.

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These misdirected, cross-reacting antibodies can damage the nervous system and cause severe symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis, including problems with balance and movement, and fatigue. The antibodies were present in about 23 percent of the MS patients and 7 percent of the control subjects.

Thus, these specific antibodies may be involved in the disease of up to a quarter of MS patients, according to Thomas.

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What characterizes multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological disease that affects the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), according to Health Norway.

Some live almost without symptoms, but in others the disease can cause serious functional impairment.

Symptoms can be a disturbance in the sense of touch, weakness in strength, and visual disturbances due to damage to the nerve pathways that supply the eye. It can cause double vision or blurred vision.

Other common symptoms are fatigue or numbness, and a tingling sensation in the skin. If the nerve pathways that control the arms and legs are disturbed, it will result in a lack of strength, coordination problems, and muscle spasms with muscle stiffness. Symptoms and nerve damage often get progressively worse.

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