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.
Now the reason I find this so intriguing is that there has always been a theory out there that MS is caused by a virus: the Epstein Barr Virus in particular, which is of course a member of the Herpes family. “But what about environmental factors, CCSVI, this, or that?” you may ask? Well this was the center of our conversation in my Facebook MS group and I think the conclusion was rather plausible… You see I have always believed that MS is genetic… It’s almost certain that my Grandmother had MS. The Epstein Barr virus has always interested me as well because I had a really bad case of mono, my mom had mono, my aunt had it TWICE, and then she was later diagnosed with Lymphoma. Sure the CDC reported that 95% of adults between the ages of 35 and 40 have been infect by the Epstein Barr virus and obviously we don’t all get MS but here is the thing. In theory, the virus is not the cause of Multiple Sclerosis , it is the trigger.
Everyone has caner cells in their body however it takes a trigger to set them loose. Is it really hard to believe that maybe some of us have a genetic defect or “MS gene” that like cancer needs an external trigger such as the Epstein Barr virus to activate the disease? Well what about the narrowing of veins in the neck as explained in the CCSVI theory? That could simply be another side effect of the disease, another symptom, inflammation! Treating CCSVI relieves your symptoms but is it truly treating the underlying cause? Well, we don’t know which is why I am simply speculating. There are so many theories out there and so many supposed treatments or cures as some people would dare to say. There is no doubting that the various treatments have helped many people all over the world so either we all have different forms of MS caused by different things or they are all connected some how. Logically speaking I would guess that more then likely all these theories are related but no one has figured out how to connect them yet.
I think it’s going to take one really open minded individual to figure this one out but hopefully this discovery will help find that answer as well. All I ask is that you all keep an open mind be a closed mind has already made it’s decision…
CLICK HERE to visit the article I am referring to.