Multiple sclerosis. A terrible wasting disease that not only ruins the lives of sufferers, but often those of families and loved ones who must care for them. Up to now the causes of this and several other neurological disorders have been pretty obscure, which is why we have been following recent progress(LSS 15/17 1 2022) with the guidance of our erudite correspondent Gaynor Lynch. Now there is even more reinforcement for what Gaynor, and we have been saying, in the shape of a piece from Nature Briefings. As Gaynor so presciently observed, the role of the Epstein-Barr virus is implicated as a possible cause. The immunological response to the virus may, tragically, be the root of the neurodegeneration. The first extract from Nature is as usual, but you may struggle with the link onwards-sorry. We will paste it below, then indulge in a little speculation, for those who may be interested.
Researchers who study multiple sclerosis (MS) are split into two main camps: most see autoimmunity as the driving factor for the illness, but a minority invoke viral culprits. Last month, a study of a large group of people followed over many years found that infection with the Epstein-Barr virus increased the likelihood of developing MS by more than 32-fold. But this associative connection lacked a causal, disease-triggering link. Now, evidence might settle the debate through a compromise solution, writes neurobiologist Hartmut Wekerle. Antibodies that attack the Epstein–Barr virus also recognize GlialCAM, a protein that is in glial cells in the brain.Nature | 9 min read
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Now for the speculation. The following has nothing to do with Gaynor, Nature or any formal scientific research that we know of. And no, we have not been drinking. But because we are an independent blog, not beholden to any paymaster or institution, we are able to indulge ourselves in the delicious pleasure of unsubstantiated guesswork and speculation.(it won’t be very often!)
If the above research is true, then viruses can affect the nervous system. Specifically the ganglions and neural sheaths which play such a key role in reliable transmission of messages in that nervous system. We know that sufferers from other mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression also experience episodes of erratic and impaired neurological function. Is it time to start looking for a virus here as well?
#neurological disorders #virus #multiple sclerosis #schizophrenia