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New Study Shows HHV6 Virus May Interfere with Myelin Repair in MS

July 12, 2017

HHV6 (Human Herpes Virus 6) is a common virus that can persist in the brain and spinal cord in a dormant form, and signs of HHV6 have previously been reported in people with MS. Although a role for this or any other virus in MS has not been proven, researchers at the University of Rochester, co-funded by the National MS Society, now report that HHV6 produces a protein that impairs the function of immature cells in charge of repairing nerve-insulating myelin. Cells infected with the virus were studied in lab dishes and also transplanted into mice with myelin damage, and they were unable to migrate, preventing them from initiating repair. Further research is necessary to understand how this impairment occurs and whether or how it may be linked to MS progression.

Read more from the University of Rochester
View the open access paper in Scientific Reports
What we know about viruses and MS

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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