Monday, December 05, 2011

Vascular condition and MS share risk factors

People with a specific vascular condition, but no known neurological disease, display many of the same risk factors as people with multiple sclerosis, a new study shows.
The study, published in PLoS One, is the first to investigate risk factors for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI ) in which blood flow from the central nervous system to the periphery is impaired. It has been hypothesized that this narrowing of veins restricts blood flow from the brain, altering brain drainage and possibly contributing to brain tissue injury that is associated with MS.

Common risk factors
The study found that CCSVI risk factors occurred more frequently in 1) those with a history of mononucleosis, i.e. infected with Epstein-Barr virus; 2) those with irritable bowel syndrome; 3) those who smoke or have a history of smoking.
“All three are confirmed risk factors for MS,” says second author Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, professor of neurology. According to the results, individuals with CCSVI were 2.7 times more likely than individuals without CCSVI to have infectious mononucleosis, 3.9 times more likely to have irritable bowel syndrome and 1.98 times more likely to have a history of smoking.
“Our finding that a risk factor that is highly significant for MS—Epstein-Barr virus, indicated by a history of infectious mononucleosis—is strongly associated with CCSVI, is important,” says Zivadinov. “This is the first time a connection has been found between Epstein-Barr virus and CCSVI.

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