MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: COVID-19 Booster, EBV Treatment, Childhood MS Risks, Vitamin D

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by Ed Tobias |

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COVID-19 Booster May Benefit Patients on Anti-CD20 Therapy

After multiple reports of how Gilenya and anti-CD20 MS medications reduce the efficacy of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, here’s more evidence that a booster shot may improve that protection. The researchers report “modestly increased levels” of anti–SARS-CoV-2 antibodies after a third shot.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with weak immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines are more likely to respond successfully to the booster shot if they are receiving an anti-CD20 therapy compared with those on Gilenya (fingolimod), according to a small study in Norway.

These early findings suggest that booster shots should be considered among MS patients on anti-CD20 therapy who previously showed poor responses to COVID-19 vaccines, the researchers noted.

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Epstein-Barr Virus May Be Leading Cause of MS, Raising Risk by 32 Times


Tevogen to Develop T-cell Therapy That Might Prevent EBV Infection

Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of discussion about the connection between the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and MS, and talk about whether a vaccine to prevent EBV might also greatly reduce cases of MS. This company is trying to create a treatment that would ward off or attack an EBV infection. Let’s hope that happens soon.

Tevogen Bio is planning to make use of its virus-fighting immune cell technology and turn it against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a common virus thought to greatly increase the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The technology employs off-the-shelf cytotoxic T-cells — a type of white blood cell that can kill other cells, such as those infected with a certain virus. This potentially allows the body to replace the infected cells with healthy, uninfected cells.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences Don’t Influence MS Risk: Study

Back in October, a study released at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) conference reported that sexual and emotional abuse during childhood is associated with a higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis later in life. Yet, this study reports that physical and other adverse experiences in childhood didn’t increase the MS risk. The research team says its findings “both agree with and contradict past studies.” What’s a poor MS columnist like me supposed to think?

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) did not increase the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) development and were not associated with worse clinical outcomes, a recent study reported.

These findings add to the complexity of the potential relationship between ACEs and MS that has emerged across several research studies.

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How Vitamin D Modulates Immune System Activity Detailed in Study

It’s long been thought that a low level of vitamin D can have an impact on developing MS. This study suggests a reason: Vitamin D may help “turn on” some genes that are important for promoting immune tolerance, the immune system’s ability to tolerate an attack on the body’s own tissues. Guess I’ll continue taking my daily dose of “D.”

Vitamin D can influence the immune system’s tolerance to certain proteins by changing how DNA is packaged in specific immune cells called dendritic cells, according to a new study.

Its findings could have implications for treating diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) that are characterized by the immune system attacking healthy tissue.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


catherine1712 avatar


I am taking metformin 500mg X twice daily and clemastine. my condition has amiliorated.
has anyone experienced the same. is it possible that these medications could restore demyelination?
would be grateful for your comments.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Catherine,

I'm glad that those two therapies seem to be helping you but I'm not aware of ANY treatments that are able to restore myelin. Sorry.



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