Daily Archives: July 4, 2011

Monkeys in Oregon With MS?

multiple sclerosis ms monkey virus

Someone posted an interesting article in my Facebook MS Group today talking about monkeys and MS. Now I was of course naturally drawn to this article because guys just simply like monkeys, what can I say, they’re awesome! But of course a monkey with MS is a whole separate story… I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was shocking to hear of such a thing but maybe surprising would be the right word. Interesting at the least.

So there have been reports of monkeys in Oregon experiencing paralysis of the limbs since the mid 80’s. At the time they had no idea what was going on so they put the poor little monkeys to sleep. There have been a total of 56 monkeys with this mysterious disease and over the course of each year there are usually about 4 monkeys out of 300 who develop the described symptoms. They now know that this disease is the “monkey equivalent” of Multiple Sclerosis, in fact, they have even shown signs of relapses and remissions! MRI scans show scattered lesions and most intriguing of all, they believe that their disease is triggered by a virus. Which virus you ask? Well samples taken from the spinal cords of several monkeys revealed traces of a Herpes related virus… Now they didn’t mention which one in this article but I’m going to go ahead and guess Epstein Barr… Monkeys who showed no sign of the disease did not have this virus.