The condition affects the central nervous system, "tricking" the immune system into attacking the protective myelin sheath that surrounds the nerve cells.
The medical community has not yet identified the cause of MS. Many health professionals believe that genetic predisposition plays a role, with environmental factors such as smoking and viral infections potentially triggering MS risk genes.
Of all the viruses that may play a role in the development of MS, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) — which causes mononucleosis — has received the most attention from researchers.
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