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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis, Epstein-Barr Virus, and Simple Hope

My mother is one of the smartest people you will ever meet, especially for her height. The mother has been saying for years she thought it was odd, the number of people with MS who also had glandular fever at an early age. I would look at those types of things and think, the experts must have thought of that, isn't that what they do? Apparently not the case, because I have been reading a lot of things that appear to be an epiphany for these researchers. They should have called, I would have given them the mothers number!

I asked a bunch of MS bloggers recently if any of them had mono at an early age, and most responded that they had had mono, but not until the late teen years. I had never even heard of the Epstein-Barr , in fact it sounds more like a comedy duo than a virus! A German group seems to think it is rather significant, but what does it mean to me? They are talking vaccines and cures, but I'm not going to hold my breath. It is going to make me mad if the mother turns out to be right, and nobody listened to her, including to me.

Is this one of those viruses that hangs in there, possibly for years, never quite going away, but rather giving off just a little bad mojo at a time, causing the MS symptoms? How is that for a reach? So, hear I am hoping that all of the answers, to all of my questions, sit in the hope that a strong antibiotic can kill it, and I move on! It's nice to have days with such clarity. Wouldn't that be cool if it were that easy? I know it's probably not the case, and I'm not overly confident that they will ever fix this for me. I have to admit though, it is really fun, and somewhat comforting to picture it in my mind that way.




The research into the connection between EBV and MS has been going on for quite some time. But finding 'proof' of how that connection works has been the challenge.

The current theory is that young children who are exposed to EBV are less likely to develop mono. Adolescents and young adults, when exposed to EBV and develop mono, are the folks who are more likely to develop MS. It has something to do with their very active immune systems.

Read The Kissing Disease and MS for a starting point to look into current research. (I haven't yet looked at your Germany research link. I'll have to do that.)

awb said...

Thanks Lisa, so you're saying if you had mono, it appears better to have it very young? That is interesting, something to read about!


Sorry, I must have worded that confusingly. Many folks are exposed the the virus when they are young and nothing comes of it.

Those who are exposed for the first time when they are teens are much more likely to develop mono. Some people exposed to EBV might develop lymphoma or other illnesses instead.

The Epstein-Barr virus is of the herpes family and over 90% of the worldwide population carries that virus for life.

Anonymous said...

All of these things have been around for a long time but doctors call them different names. The first doc told me you might have leukemia and after scaring the wits out of me Good old Dr. Miceli took one look and said old time glandular fever. Sometimes called mono or kissing disease. You were 8 and seemd to have no other problem except I should expect the gland to swell every time you had a cold or maybe lost a tooth so that makes me think the virus or whatever does stay with you a long time. the gland did swell whenever you were sick. I am average height.