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Multiple Sclerosis and Epstein-Barr Virus

August 27, 2000 | 41,675 views

German researchers have demonstrated that there may be an association between the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) reactivation and disease activity in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients over time.

  • 108 MS patients and 163 controls were assessed for the prevalence of antibodies against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, EBV, and cytomegalovirus (CMV).

  • In contrast to the control populations, antibodies against EBV were present in 100% of MS patients.

  • There was no significant differences between the groups for the other viruses.

  • 19 of the MS patients were then followed monthly for 1 year, measuring active viral replication and it was noted that viral reactivation was seen in 72.7% of patients with exacerbations of their MS symptoms.

The authors suggest that EBV might play an indirect role in MS as an activator of the underlying disease process. This could therefore, have some clinical significance in the treatment of this difficult condition.

Neurology July 25, 2000; 55:178-84


Dr. Mercola's Comments:


MS is a very challenging problem to treat. There are no simple solutions. Usually mercury is a complicating factor. The mercury tends to impair the immune system and allow infections like Epstein Barr worsen the problem.

Following a good diet is of course also key. Elimination of milk and dairy is critical. Studies have shown that cow's milk consumption is correlated with MS prevalence (Neuroepidemiology 1992;11:304-12, Neuroepidemiology 1993;12:15-27).

Collection of data from the autonomic nervous system is one of the most sophisticated approaches that I am aware of to learn what the underlying reasons for the cause of MS. Here are some other avenues that might be useful as well:

1. Vitamin D Deficiency - MS much more common in individuals with lower vitamin D levels and in countries where people get less sunlight exposure. A previous article in the newsletter showed a positive effect of sunlight exposure on MS. Maybe correcting a vitamin D deficiency can halt progression?

2. Calcium AEP - Although I don't know of any good studies on it, the late Dr. Nieper in Germany used it extensively in his clinic and Dr. Robert Atkins in New York City claims that 85% of his patients get positive results from it. Although there is an oral form available, most physicians use an IV administration. I have not tried it yet but might enter a clinical investigation with it in the near future.

3. Electromagnetic Stimulation of the Pineal Gland - There is a Dr. Reuven Sandyk in the NYC area who uses AC pulsed electromagnetic fields to stimulate the pineal gland and he seems to get some very good results, although the treatment is very expensive and must be done long-term. Due to the prohibitively expensive equipment, Dr. Sandyk's clinic is probably the only place to receive this treatment.

4. Alpha Lipoic Acid - A study from the Netherlands showed that Lipoic acid is a non-specific scavenger of Reactive Oxygen Species and decreased the phagocytosis of myelin by macrophages. Free radicals appear to play a regulatory role in the destruction of myelin (Journal of Neuroimmunology 1998 Dec 1;92:67-75)

5. Progesterone - Progesterone has actually been shown in animal studies to promote the formation of new myelin sheaths (Human Reproduction 2000 Jun;15 Suppl 1:1-13, J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 1999 Apr-Jun;69:97-107, Mult Scler 1997 Apr;3:105-12). I am not aware of any clinicians using progesterone the treat MS patients, but if any of my readers have any additional information on this, please e-mail me.

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