Multiple sclerosis was previously known as a “mystery illness” however now MS risk is less of a mystery once we gain an improved knowledge of its causes, based on the writer of a Perspective published today by the Medical Journal of Australia.
Professor Bruce Taylor from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, wrote that it had been now clear that there is no “smoking gun” risk factor for MS, but “a chain of risk factors stretching back again to conception with each factor a significant step on the causal pathway.”
“Some risk factors are immutable, such as for example sex and genetics, but others are potentially modifiable, such as for example obesity, smoking, vitamin D levels and ultraviolet light exposure, and potentially, EpsteinBarr virus immunization,” Professor Taylor wrote.
“The recognition that EpsteinBarr virus infection is probable an obligate factor should increase fascination with the development of an early on life EpsteinBarr virus vaccine.
“Similarly, knowing of the significance of sunlight exposure and vitamin D levels, particularly in pregnancy and early life but additionally through the entire life course, presents multiple points of intervention.”
Professor Taylor warned, however, that increasing contact with sunlight and vitamin D levels weren’t without risk “no clear equipoise is rolling out.
“Reducing smoking and adolescent obesity could markedly decrease the threat of MS; however, there is absolutely no direct trial evidence to aid this because of the complexity and longterm nature of this type of trial.”
Professor Taylor said efforts to lessen the responsibility of other diseases with similar risk factors, if successful, could have a knock-on aftereffect of potentially reducing the incidence of MS.
“A better knowledge of MS risk factors is essential for all those in higher risk categories and is invaluable when counseling an individual with MS who would like to decrease the risk within their children or other relatives,” he concluded.
More info: Bruce V Taylor, What can cause multiple sclerosis? Getting nearer to the answers, Medical Journal of Australia (2022). DOI: 10.5694/mja2.51645
Provided byMenzies Institute for Medical Research
Citation: What can cause multiple sclerosis? Researchers are nearer to figuring it out (2022, August 16) retrieved 16 August 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-08-multiple-sclerosis-closer-figuring.html
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