Monday, March 2, 2009

Mono associated with Multiple Sclerosis

High levels of Epstein Barr viral antibodies in the blood are associated with multiple sclerosis, again!

I had a really bad case of mono in college. The only time in my life that I remember the horizon seeming to move up and down as I walked. I think the effect was caused by the very high fever. My neck was swollen up like I had the mumps.

Weird that, my now wifeof thirty three years and then fiancee did not catch mono even though she was heavily exposed. I guess not all people can get it.

Also the immune problems I have (throat and extremity swelling, flushing, syncope, anaphylaxis) were already present before the mono and seem to be no worse after the mono.

Not everyone who gets mono gets an autoimmune disease.

Not everyone who gets autoimmune has mono first. My son, who has three autoimmune diseases (psoriasis, PsA, AS) that came on suddenly in his senior year of college, never had mono.

The article linking MS to mono is below:

Epstein-Barr Virus May Be Associated with Progression of MS
Release Date: March 2, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the pathogen that causes mononucleosis, appears to play a role in the neurodegeneration that occurs in persons with multiple sclerosis, researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of Trieste, Italy, have shown.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that can cause major disability. There currently is no cure.

"This study is one of the first to provide evidence that a viral agent may be related to the severity of MS disease process, as measured by MRI," said Robert Zivadinov, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology in UB's Jacobs Neurological Institute (JNI) and first author on the study.

The research appears in the Online First section of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry and is available at
"A growing body of experimental evidence indicates that past infection with EBV may play a role in MS," said Zivadinov, "but the relationship of EBV and the brain damage that can be seen on MRI scans had not been explored."

The study involved 135 consecutive patients diagnosed with MS at the Multiple Sclerosis Center of the University of Trieste. Evaluations of the MRI scans were carried out at the University of Trieste and at the JNI's Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), which Zivadinov directs.
The Buffalo researchers measured total brain volume, as well as the decrease in gray matter, at baseline and three years later.

Results showed that higher levels of anti-EBV antibody measured at the beginning of the study were associated with an increased loss of gray matter and total brain volume over the three-year follow-up.

The researchers now are carrying out prospective longitudinal studies in patients who experienced a condition called "clinically isolated syndrome," a first neurologic episode that lasts at least 24 hours, and is caused by inflammation/demyelination in one or more sites in the central nervous system. If a second episode occurs, the patient is diagnosed with MS.
The study will investigate the relationship of anti-EBV antibody levels to development of gray matter atrophy, neurocognitive function and disability progression over time.

UB and Trieste researchers also are investigating interactions between environment, certain genes and EBV antibodies and the association with MRI injury in MS. A paper on this work is "in press" in the Journal of Neuroimmunology.

Marino Zorzon, M.D., from the University of Trieste, is second author on the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry study. Murali Ramanathan, Ph.D., from the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and the JNI, is co-corresponding author with Zivadinov. The BNAC and JNI are located in Kaleida Health's Buffalo General Hospital.
Additional contributors to the study are Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, M.D., from UB; Maurizia Serafin, M.D., from Cattinara Hospital in Trieste; and Antonio Bosco, M.D., Ph.D., Alessio Bratina, M.D., Cosimo Maggiore, M.D., Attilio Grop, Maria Antonietta Tommasi, M.D., all from the University of Trieste, and Bhooma Srinivasaraghavan, from the BNAC.

The study was supported in part by the Consortium for International Development of the University of Trieste, Italy. The researchers also gratefully acknowledge additional support from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a Pediatric MS Center of Excellence Center Grant.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. The School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is one of five schools that constitute UB's Academic Health Center. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.


Anonymous said...

I had mono twice when I was in high school and not more than a year later, I was diagnosed with MS. There has got to be a link.

Also, once or twice a year I show signs of mono such as sore throat and fatigue. I know that once a person is diagnosed with mono, they always have the virus in their system.

Coincidence or cause for suspicion?

Anonymous said...

I also had mono 2x and have been diagnosed with MS. First Mono 2001 Second flare of Mono 2004 Diagnosis of MS 2011.

Wish the link between mono and MS could be concrete. This would help in my Veterans Association claim.