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According to the work, 955 of those recruits developed multiple sclerosis. Through the work of the scientists, it was discovered that the risk of developing the disease multiplied by 32 after infection by the Epstein-Barr virus, without being explained by any other factor. Only one soldier who developed Multiple Sclerosis had not been infected with the virus.
As the results could not be explained by any known risk factor, it is suggested that the Epstein-Barr virus is the main cause of multiple sclerosis”, state the researchers.
“The hypothesis that (Epstein-Barr virus) causes multiple sclerosis has been investigated by our group and by others for several years, but This is the first study to provide convincing evidence of causality.” Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology at Harvard, said in a press release.
What is multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. It affects one in 3,000 people worldwide and can cause permanent damage to the nervous system.
It has become one of the main causes of neurological disability of non-traumatic origin in young adults, especially in women.
What is the difference between Multiple Sclerosis and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?
Many people tend to confuse Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Both diseases are neurodegenerative and affect the nervous system, but the truth is that they are pathologies that have different symptoms, consequences and prognosis.
In fact, there is a great difference in terms of number of affected and sex.
According to the Brain Foundation of the Spanish Society of Neurology, MS is an autoimmune disease in which myelin, a substance that covers nerve fibers, is damaged. This causes the electrical signals that allow communication between neurons to be interrupted. In the case of ALS, those that are affected are the motor neurons responsible for voluntary movements.
What these diseases do have in common is that their origin is unknown (although it is now believed that in the case of MS it would be a virus) and that they could have an important genetic component, something that has not been completely ruled out.