Tagged with: multiple sclerosis Vitamin D
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common disease of the central nervous system. MS is an autoimmune disorder, which means that the immune system attacks the person’s healthy tissue. Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, and every week about 200 people are diagnosed.
In a nutshell, MS can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis, and blindness and more. These symptoms may be permanent or may come and go.
A recent study in Britain suggests that individuals who’ve had infectious mononucleosis aka “mono” and have had low levels of sunlight may have a higher chance developing multiple sclerosis.
Dr. George Ebers of the University of Oxford and his colleagues found mononucleosis and the effects of exposure to less intense sunlight together explained 72% of the variance in MS prevalence across England.
Also, a study printed in the journal Neurology showed the intensity of ultraviolet B exposure, a type of radiation from the sun, alone explained 61% of the difference in MS cases between those living in northern and southern parts of the country.
“When our data are taken in combination with others, it gives confidence that there is a pressing need to investigate the role of vitamin D and [infectious mononucleosis] and their interaction in the pathogenesis of MS.”
Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D when exposed to UVB sunlight. Researchers believe there is a possibility that vitamin D deficiency may lead to abnormal response to the Epstein-Barr virus. The Epstein-Barr virus when contracted can lead to mono (in some people). The connection between the virus and MS still needs further investigation.
Low levels of the vitamin may lead to an abnormal response to
Epstein-Barr virus, such as infectious mononucleosis. Vitamin D also plays a role in the immune system.
“This work adds weight to existing evidence that MS is caused by a number of factors working in combination. Vitamin D has been closely studied in recent years and is thought to be a key factor in the development of MS; we look forward to seeing more research dedicated to this important area, Dr. Doug Brown, head of biomedical research at the society.”