Preliminary study suggests possible new treatment for MS related to the Epstein-Barr virus -- ScienceDaily

The study investigates the relationship between multiple sclerosis and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a herpes virus that is extremely common but causes no symptoms in most people. However, when a person contracts the virus as a teenager or adult, it often leads to mononucleosis. Previous research has shown a link between the virus and MS.

For the study, researchers removed the participants' own T cells and stimulated them to boost their ability to recognize and destroy cells infected with Epstein-Barr virus. They then injected participants with infusions of escalating doses of T cells every two weeks for six weeks. They followed the patients through 26 weeks to look for evidence of side effects and possible improvement of symptoms.
Three of the participants showed improvement, starting two to eight weeks after the first infusion.
"One person with secondary progressive MS showed striking improvement," Pender said. "This participant had a significant increase in ambulation from 100 yards with a walker at the start of the study, and over the previous five years, to three quarters of a mile, and was now also able to walk shorter distances with only one sided assistance. Lower leg spasms that had persisted for 20 years resolved."

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