Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW: PROGRESS IN MEDICINE- (UPDATE ON ADVANCES IN PATHOPHYSIOLOGY)
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 80-86

The role of infections in the pathogenesis and course of multiple sclerosis


Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA

Correspondence Address:
Siddharama Pawate
2201 Childrens Ave, 1222 Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital 37212, Nashville, TN
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.64622

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Interplay between susceptibility genes and environmental factors is considered important player in the genesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Among environmental factors, a role for an infectious pathogen has long been considered central to the disease process. This opinion has support both from epidemiological data and the findings of immunological abnormalities in spinal fluid that reflect an immune response to an as yet undetermined antigen, possibly a pathogen, in the cerebrospinal fluid. Our review will outline the current understanding of the role of infection in the causation and progression of MS. We will review the data that point to an infectious cause of MS and consider the specific agents Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) pneumoniae, Human Herpes Virus 6, and Epstein-Barr Virus, that are implicated in either the development or progression of MS.


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