MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Herpes, COVID-19, Exercise, DMT Studies

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by Ed Tobias |

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No Link Between Herpes Infection and MS Risk in Genetic Study

This is interesting because the Epstein-Barr virus is a member of the herpes family, and recently, a major study indicated a link between Epstein-Barr and MS. Yet, the study reported here concludes there is no link between herpes and MS. As these researchers note, their study was limited to people of European ancestry. And they say more research is needed. I agree.

Infection with the herpes simplex virus does not increase the risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a new analysis based on genetic data.

The study, “Mendelian Randomization Analysis Suggests No Associations of Herpes Simplex Virus Infections With Multiple Sclerosis,” was published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

Click here or on the headline to read the full story.

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COVID-19 Not Linked to Long-term Worsening of RRMS: Iranian Study

When this story was posted on the MS News Today Facebook page it was immediately questioned by some people with MS who had developed COVID-19. They reported that COVID-19 had worsened their MS symptoms. But it seems as if that worsening was a result of the fever that COVID-19 generated, and we all know that heat can exacerbate our MS symptoms. As our story reports, this study refers to long-term worsening. So read it carefully before making a conclusion about COVID-19 and worsening MS symptoms.

COVID-19 does not seem to be linked to increased disability worsening or more relapses in the long term for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), an Iranian study suggests.

The study was relatively small, the researchers noted, indicating that more research is needed in the future to determine the impact of COVID-19 on MS disease activity.

Click here or on the headline to read the full story.


Irisin Hormone May Underlie Benefits of Aerobic Exercise for RRMS

It just makes sense: Aerobic exercise seems to improve cognition, fatigue, and depression in healthy people. Why not also in people with MS? The new item here is that researchers have pinned the reason for this on irisin, a hormone that is released from skeletal muscles during and after exercise. It’s been theorized that irisin increases levels of anti-inflammatory proteins, promoting nerve processes that involve memory and depression.

Six weeks of aerobic exercise led to benefits in cognition, fatigue, and depression among people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), which may be due to increases in blood levels of a hormone called irisin, according to data from a randomized, controlled trial.

“Considering the high prevalence of neuropsychiatric symptoms such as depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment in MS, our results indicated that more impressive improvements could be achieved with the moderate level aerobic exercises,” the researchers wrote.

Click here or on the headline to read the full story.


Several disease-modifying therapy studies were reported on last week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), which was held in person April 2-7 in Seattle, Washington, and will be held virtually April 24-26. Each of these studies reported positive safety and/or efficacy news about those medications. Click on the following headlines to read the full stories:

#AAN2022 – CONSONANCE Update Shows Ocrevus’ Effectiveness After 1 Year,” “#AAN2022 – Data from Multiple Trials Show Kesimpta’s Safety, Efficacy,” “#AAN2022 – Long-term Evobrutinib Safe, Effective in Relapsing MS,” “#AAN2022 – Ublituximab Bests Aubagio on Disability Measures

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.


Luis Soto II avatar

Luis Soto II

In 1984 I was married with kids, working, attending night school then I caught a virus doctors couldn’t identify.
Doctor’s initial assumption was leukemia and for weeks I went through a series of blood tests although on my release I was never given a diagnosis. I did later develop health issues related to that virus concern.

I am now learning the 1984 virus and COVID-19 paralleled except the more recent virus is worse. My medical symptoms are similar to current medical troubles.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Very interesting, Luis. I hope you're doing ok. Thanks for sharing.



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