A virus that causes multiple sclerosis

DECRYPTION – Responsible for mononucleosis, EBV is involved in this neurological disease and other autoimmune diseases.

A very large American epidemiological study published this week in the journal Science shows that infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) always precedes the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS), and points to its responsibility in this autoimmune disease. “Numerous studies had already observed that almost all MS patients are infected with this virus, but this work reinforces the idea that infection with EBV is necessary for the onset of multiple sclerosis”, underlines Céline Louapre, neurologist at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris.

Multiple sclerosis is the leading non-traumatic cause of disability in young adults. It affects around 100,000 people in France alone, the majority of whom are women, and more than 2,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. A chronic inflammatory disease, it gradually attacks the central nervous system, with a very variable evolution depending on the patient and which we try to…

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