No association of EBV and tobacco use

Munger KL, Fitzgerald KC, Freedman MS, Hartung HP, Miller DH, Montalbán X, Edan G, Barkhof F, Suarez G, Radue EW, Sandbrink R, Kappos L, Pohl C, Ascherio A. No association of multiple sclerosis activity and progression with EBV or tobacco use in BENEFIT.Neurology. 2015 Oct 9. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000002099. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE:To evaluate whether Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody levels or tobacco use were associated with conversion to multiple sclerosis (MS) or MS progression/activity in patients presenting with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).
METHODS: In this prospective, longitudinal study, we measured EBV IgG antibody and cotinine (biomarker of tobacco use) levels at up to 4 time points (baseline, months 6, 12, and 24) among 468 participants with CIS enrolled in the BENEFIT (Betaferon/Betaseron in Newly Emerging Multiple Sclerosis for Initial Treatment) clinical trial. Outcomes included time to conversion to clinically definite or McDonald MS, number of relapses, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) changes, brain and T2 lesion volume changes, and number of new active lesions over 5 years. Analyses were adjusted for age, sex, treatment allocation, baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level, number of T2 lesions, body mass index, EDSS, steroid treatment, and CIS onset type.
RESULTS: We found no associations between any EBV IgG antibody or cotinine levels with conversion from CIS to MS or MS progression as measured by EDSS or activity clinically or on MRI. The relative risk of conversion from CIS to clinically definite MS was 1.14 (95% confidence interval 0.76-1.72) for the highest vs the lowest quintile of EBNA-1 IgG levels, and 0.96 (95% confidence interval 0.71-1.31) for cotinine levels >25 ng/mL vs <10.
CONCLUSIONS: Neither increased levels of EBV IgG antibodies, including against EBNA-1, nor elevated cotinine levels indicative of tobacco use, were associated with an increased risk of CIS conversion to MS, or MS activity or progression over a 5-year follow-up.

So we always here of this activity or that activity correlating with MS susceptibility, but here is a nagative study on smoking and EBV to counter the many other studies going the other way, These risks what ever only hae a small infleunce on risk.

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  • But is that because the study participants had used Beta Interferons 1b did not influence the final result of the study?

  • Check back to them in another 15 years and then see how they are. I have chronic epstein barr virus. I was diagnosed when I was 22 (may have had it since I was 15) and I am just now showing signs of ms (I am now 38 years old). I have a lesion in my spinal cord and lesions on my brain so I hope this short term study isn't it … because more symptoms will come. And another question – are they chronic active ebv patients because I am and it has been relentless. Every function of my body is having complications and doctors do not know what to do with me. Finding a good doctor is slim especially one who is knowledgeable on CEBV and related illnesses. I am now wheel chair bound and it's only getting worse. The best doc I have is the pain management doc as far as the others they have been nothing but a let down by referring me to one doctor to another. I have been suffering so long with no help and getting worse and the lack of caring doctors is sickening. All these doctors who have no care for actually treating their patients will be the death of me. Just a fact!

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