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ACTRIMS 2023 | Types of infection implicated in MS pathogenesis

Scott Montgomery, PhD, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden, discusses the types of infection implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Infection by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has long been associated with MS. To explore that infections trigger the MS disease process, Prof. Montgomery performed a sibling comparison study. Siblings share much of their genotype and have similar family lives. Results showed that glandular fever was associated with a significantly increased MS risk. Interestingly, glandular fever in earlier childhood was less of a risk for MS than when it occurred between ages 11 and 20. Although EBV and exposure patterns seem to be significant risk factors, other infections are also important. Respiratory infections requiring hospital treatment in adolescents increase by 51% the risk of MS, while infections of the central nervous system increase MS risk most notably. This interview took place at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2023 in San Diego, CA.

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Scott Montgomery has received MS research grants and/or honoraria for advisory boards/lectures from Roche, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Merck, Teva and IQVIA.