Epstein-Barr virus may increase risk of multiple sclerosisBMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7392.731/b (Published 05 April 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:731
- Scott Gottlieb
- New York
Evidence is mounting that infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which can cause mononucleosis, may also increase the risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life.
Previous studies have established a link between the viral illness and multiple sclerosis (JAMA 2001;286:3083-8), and now in a new study, investigators have discovered that people with the highest levels of antibodies directed against EBV—possibly indicating a history of severe infection—were more than 30 times as likely to develop multiple sclerosis later in life than those with the fewest antibodies (JAMA 2003;289:1533-6).
EBV is an extremely common type of herpes virus, with more than 90% of …