The role of Epstein-Barr virus in Multiple Sclerosis
The is growing evidence of a link between progress of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the EP virus (EPV). In a study in the US, those suffering from EPV were thirty two times more likely to go on to develop MS.
Researchers working at Atara Biotherapeutics built on work from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). T-cells from patients who had recovered from EPV were injected into MS patients in a phase 1 trials.
Of the 24 patients who took part, after one year 20 had either stabilised or shown an improve in their condition. MS is a progressive disease, with limited treatments available. It is highly unusual for improvements to be observed.
Three years later, nine trial participants showed improvements when measured by brain scans.
Although very exciting, it should be noted that this phase 1 trial did not include a control group, so placebo effects cannot be eliminated. A Phase 2, expanded study in America and Australia is now recruiting (at the time of writing).
Monitor news from Atara Biotherapeutics to keep up to date with further developments.
World MS Day 2022
The 30th May each year is World MS Day. A day to raise awareness and solidarity for those suffering with MS or with their loved ones.
You can learn more by visiting the WorldMSDay website.
MS in numbers
- Globally around 2.8 million people are being treated for MS.
- MS is most typically diagnosed in people between the age of 20 and 40
- Women are around two to three times more likely to catch the disease than men.
Currently there is no cure, but increasingly drugs are available that can change the otherwise normal progression of the disease.