MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Epstein-Barr Virus, Gilenya, Naltrexone, Medical Marijuana
This study is yet another of several over the years that have suggested that there’s some sort of link between the Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis (MS). (Fatigue and muscle weakness are among the symptoms of EBV). In this case, 90 percent of the MS patients studied had some sign of EBV in their brain cells, versus 24 percent of the patients in the study with other neurological diseases. In 18 percent of the people with MS, the EBV infected cells were “widespread.”
United Arab Emirates scientists have found an active Epstein-Barr virus in many multiple sclerosis patients’ brain cells, supporting the notion that it plays a role in the disease.
The team found it in two types of brain cells — astrocytes and microglia. The virus can be active or lie dormant in the body.
The study, “Epstein-Barr virus is present in the brain of most cases of multiple sclerosis and may engage more than just B cells,” appeared in the journal PLoS ONE. A team at United Arab Emirates University led the work.
This is a study of people dealing with MS in the real world, rather than a clinical setting. It looked at whether their disease progressed after they began using Gilenya. The assessment was based on the proportion of patients who had no evidence of disease activity and the time it took to their first relapse after starting treatment. And the results were positive.
Gilenya (fingolimod) is an effective treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in everyday clinical practice, a new study shows. The therapy was shown to be effective even in patients switching from Tysabri (natalizumab) treatment.
The study, “Effectiveness and baseline factors associated to fingolimod response in a real-world study on multiple sclerosis patients,” was published in the Journal of Neurology.
Have some questions about medical marijuana? There’s a new website for that.
It is seeking feedback on the site so it can tweak it as need be. It hopes to hear from patients, doctors, patient advocates, parents, researchers, government and industry officials, journalists, and others who are interested in medical cannabis.
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