Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. Treatments are designed to reduce inflammation. Jean Pelletier, a neurologist at the Arsep Foundation (Aid) for research on multiple Sclerosis, says that treatments have “greatly improved in the past ten years” and that patient follow-up has become more personalized.

A team of American researchers discovered that the Epstein-Barr virus is essential for the development and progression of the disease. This discovery could help accelerate the development or treatments.

Although the disease can be very different from patient to patient, it can cause sequelae and may result in disability for young adults.

This autoimmune disease affects more than 2.8million people worldwide, with approximately 110,000 in France.

Multiple sclerosis can be prevented by avoiding infection with Epstein-Barr virus. This pathogen affects 95% and causes other diseases like mononucleosis.

Professor Pelletier said that the research “provides a better understanding of the possible causes of multiple sclerosis” and that vaccines against Epstein- Barr could prevent the development of the disease.

“Once the Epstein-Barr virus is contracted, it is kept in the body by the B lymphocytes. These cells are involved in multiple sclerosis-related inflammation. He said that monoclonal antibodies against multiple sclerosis, which are treatments that target B cells, could be a reason why certain treatments have a high efficacy against multiple-sclerosis.