MS: Common herpesvirus variant raises risk

New research distinguishes between two similar variants of the human herpesvirus 6 and finds that one variant significantly increases the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Share on PinterestScientists have linked the Epstein-Barr virus (depicted here) with MS.

MS is an autoimmune condition that affects around 400,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million people worldwide.

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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Why is my leg shaking?

Leg shaking can be a subtle annoyance or an intense experience that causes muscle tension and difficulty walking. Many issues, ranging from restless legs syndrome (RLS) to serious conditions such as dementia, can cause someone's leg to shake.

It is not possible to diagnose the cause of shaky legs based on symptoms alone. For this reason, people who experience leg shaking should speak to a doctor or healthcare provider.

Keep reading this article to learn about 10 possible causes of leg shaking.

Share on PinterestA tremor is a possible cause of leg shaking.

A tremor is an involuntary muscle contraction. The contraction is rhythmic, so a person might feel the muscle shaking or moving at predictable intervals.

A person with a leg tremor may notice their leg shaking while a muscle or group of muscles pulses or spasms out of control. The tremor may last for a few minutes, or it may be an ongoing problem.

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Does sunlight change our gut microbiome?

Scientists show that ultraviolet (UV) light exposure leads to changes in the gut microbiome, but only in volunteers who were deficient in vitamin D.

Share on PinterestCan sunlight affect our gut microbiomes?

There is plenty of evidence that links vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, to health outcomes.

Living at higher latitudes, which means less exposure to UV light and a greater chance of being vitamin D deficient, carries a higher risk of developing diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Research into the gut microbiome indicates that our microbial passengers may play a significant part in these conditions.

But what links vitamin D to our intestinal microbiota?

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Everything you need to know about syringomyelia

Syringomyelia is a rare disorder in which a fluid filled cyst forms in the spinal cord. Cerebrospinal fluid surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. Syringomyelia happens when this fluid collects within the spinal cord and forms a cyst.

The cyst is called a syrinx. Over time, the syrinx gets bigger and can damage the spinal cord and surrounding nerve fibers.

In this article, learn about the causes and symptoms of syringomyelia, as well as the treatment options and the outlook for a person with this disorder.

Causes and risk factors


Syringomyelia may cause pain in the shoulders and neck

In most cases, people have a type of syringomyelia called congenital syringomyelia. An abnormality called a Chiari malformation, which can happen when the fetus is developing in the womb, is responsible for this form of the condition.

In people with a Chiari malformation, the brain tissue extends further than normal from the back of the head into the upper part of the spinal cord. This structural abnormality affects the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and may cause a syrinx to form.

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What causes left sided facial numbness?

Left sided facial numbness is a symptom that involves a decreased or complete loss of sensation in this area of the body. It can be the result of several different conditions, including a stroke or migraine.

Numbness on the left side of the face can present as a loss of feeling, but it may also produce a tingling or burning sensation. It is also possible for the facial muscles to become paralyzed and unable to move, which can cause one side of the face to droop.

Some of the causes of left sided facial numbness are easily treatable, but others are more serious. In this article, we discuss some possible causes of this symptom and their treatment options.

Strokes and transient ischemic attacks


There are multiple causes of left sided facial numbness.

A stroke occurs when there is a disruption in the blood flow to the brain. It can result from a blood vessel in the brain bursting or the blockage of a blood vessel carrying blood to the brain.

Sudden numbness of the face is one of the warning signs of a stroke. It can occur on the left or right side and rarely affects the whole face. It is essential to seek immediate medical help for a stroke.

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What causes numbness in the thigh?

Many factors can cause numbness in the thigh. These include keeping the legs crossed for too long, wearing tight clothing, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and lupus. Treatment options depend on what is causing the numbness.

From conditions affecting blood flow to damage to the nerves themselves, there are many potential causes of numbness in the thigh. Depending on the cause, there are also many treatments available.

This article will cover some common underlying causes of numbness in one or both thighs. We also discuss treatment options.

Meralgia paresthetica


There are a number of causes for numbness in the thigh.

Meralgia paresthetica is a neurological condition that causes numbness or tingling on the outer and front aspect of the thigh.

According to an article in the journal Pain Medicine, the condition is most common in people aged 30–40 years.

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Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate)

What is Tecfidera?

Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) is a brand-name prescription medication. It's used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Tecfidera is classified as a disease-modifying therapy for MS. It reduces the risk of MS relapse by up to 49 percent over two years. It also reduces the risk of having Worsening physical disability by about 38 percent.

Tecfidera comes as a delayed-released oral capsule. It's available in two strengths: 120-mg capsules and 240-mg capsules.

Tecfidera generic name

Tecfidera is a brand-name drug. It's not currently available as a generic drug.

Tecfidera contains the drug dimethyl fumarate.

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Aubagio (teriflunomide)

FDA warnings

This drug has boxed warnings. A boxed warning is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It alerts doctors and patients about drug effects that may be dangerous.

Severe liver damage. Aubagio can cause severe liver problems, including liver failure. Taking Aubagio with other drugs that can affect your liver can increase the amount of Aubagio in your body. This can damage your liver. One of these drugs is Arava (leflunomide), which is prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Your doctor will give you blood tests before and while you take Aubagio to check your liver.Risk of birth defects. If you're pregnant, you shouldn't take Aubagio because it may cause major birth defects. If you might become pregnant and aren't using reliable birth control, you shouldn't take Aubagio. If you become pregnant while on Aubagio, stop taking it and tell your doctor right away.

What is Aubagio?

Aubagio is a brand-name prescription medication. It's used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults. MS is an illness in which your immune system attacks your central nervous system.

Aubagio contains the drug teriflunomide, which is a pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor. Drugs in this class help prevent immune cells from quickly multiplying. This action helps decrease inflammation (swelling).

Aubagio comes as a tablet that you swallow. The drug is available in two strengths: 7 mg and 14 mg.

Aubagio was compared to a placebo (no treatment) in four clinical trials. People who took Aubagio had:

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What causes numbness on the right side of the face?

Right sided facial numbness is a symptom of an underlying condition rather than a condition in itself.

Different nerves control facial feeling and muscle movement. One sided, or "unilateral," facial numbness can occur when these nerves become damaged, inflamed, or compressed.

Some people may experience a complete loss of feeling in the affected side of the face. Others may experience a tingling sensation.

There are many different causes of right sided facial numbness. Some are more serious than others. Determining the cause of facial numbness is vital for receiving effective treatment for the underlying condition.

This article outlines the various causes and their associated treatments. We also provide advice on when to see a doctor.

Possible causes of right sided facial numbness include:

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MS: Paleo diet may reduce fatigue by improving cholesterol

New research investigates the effect of following a Wahls paleo diet on fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis (MS).


A diet rich in vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish may improve fatigue in MS.

According to some estimates, at least two-thirds of people with MS experience debilitating fatigue as part of their condition.

There are many possible explanations for fatigue in MS.

For example, exhaustion can result from the pathobiological processes associated with this condition, such as inflammation of the nervous system or demyelination.

It may also result from psychological conditions that often accompany MS, such as depression and stress.

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What causes numbness and tingling?

Temporary numbness and tingling can occur after spending too much time sitting cross-legged, or with a head resting on a crooked arm.

But long term, severe, or disabling numbness and tingling is usually a sign of neurological conditions or nerve damage.

This article focuses on common causes and treatments for numbness and tingling, including multiple sclerosis (MS).

Causes in different parts of the body


Numbness and tingling may occur after resting the head on a crooked arm.

Numbness (lost, reduced, or altered sensation) and tingling (an odd prickling sensation) are types of temporary paresthesia.

These sensations commonly occur after sitting or standing in a particular position or even wearing tight clothing for too long. This puts pressure on nerves and blood vessels, reducing sensation.

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Rejuvenating brain stem cells may hold key to future MS treatments

Scientists have found a way to make older brain stem cells in rats more youthful. The discovery could lead to improved treatments for aging-related diseases that degrade the brain and nervous system.


Researchers managed to rejuvenate stem cells, inching closer to more effective treatments for MS.

The research concerns oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), which are a type of stem cell, or immature cell. OPCs are essential for the healthy functioning of the brain and the rest of the central nervous system.

OPCs mature, or differentiate, into oligodendrocytes, which are the cells that produce the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers and preserves the electrical signals that they carry.

Destruction of myelin is a distinguishing feature of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and aging-related changes to OPCs contribute to the process. Aging can also reduce OPC function in healthy individuals.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom found that increasing stiffness in the aging brain impairs the function of OPCs.

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Could activating these immune cells protect against MS?

In Multiple Sclerosis, overactive inflammatory immune cells destroy the tissue that surrounds and insulates the nerves. Now, new research in mice reveals that activating a different group of immune cells could potentially counteract the destructive autoimmune reaction.


Researchers focused on the role of a single type of T cell in triggering MS.

Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in California suggest that their findings could lead to new treatments for autoimmune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and celiac disease.

In a recent Nature paper, they describe how they studied immune cells in a mouse model of MS and also from people with the disease.

They found evidence to suggest that there is a balance between the type of immune cell that causes inflammation and another type of immune cell that can suppress it. It appears that the balance is upset in autoimmune disease.

Senior study author Mark M. Davis, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford, suggests that it could be possible to restore the balance by selectively stimulating the protective immune cells.

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What causes tingling in the head?

When a person experiences a tingling sensation, they usually are experiencing paresthesia. Paresthesia occurs when a nerve is damaged or under pressure for a long time.

For example, a person may wake up with a tingling, limp arm because they slept on it all night. In most cases, the tingling goes away quickly and there are no lasting effects.

A person may also experience tingling in their head, or head paresthesia. Although this sensation may be concerning, many potential causes of a head paresthesia do not cause lasting damage.

Keep reading for more information on the possible causes of tingling in the head, as well as when to see a doctor.

1. Sinus and respiratory infections


Sinus and respiratory infections can cause a tingling sensation in the head.

Sinus infections, colds, flus, and other infections cause a person's sinuses to become irritated and inflamed.

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Why do I feel tingling in my face?

Tingling in the face can happen for a variety of reasons. The tingling may be a temporary sensation due to a short term health issue, or it might be a symptom of an underlying condition.

Doctors may refer to the tingling sensations as paresthesia.

Here we look at possible causes, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Causes

There are several possible causes of tingling in the face, including the following:

Medications


A tingling sensation in the face may result from medications that affect nerve function.

Certain medications can affect nerve function. Although the symptoms will usually resolve once a person stops taking the medication, nerve damage may be permanent in rare cases.

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What to know about MS fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common and disabling symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It is often the most significant symptom that people with few other symptoms experience.

Some lifestyle changes, healthful habits, and medications can help people manage MS fatigue.

In this article, we discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment of MS fatigue.

symptoms


Around 90% of people diagnosed with MS experience fatigue.

Fatigue affects as many as 90% of people with MS. It is often one of the first symptoms to develop, and it may begin years before the diagnosis of MS.

People who have fatigue feel constantly exhausted, usually regardless of their activity levels and hours of sleep. They may find it difficult to do everyday tasks, such as dressing, bathing, and preparing meals.

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Vaccinations do not raise risk of multiple sclerosis

A large study has concluded that vaccinations are not a risk factor for Multiple Sclerosis. Instead, the findings reveal a consistent link between higher vaccination rates and a lower likelihood of developing the disabling condition.


There is no evidence that vaccinations increase the likelihood of MS.

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in Germany studied data on more than 200,000 people who were representative of the general population.

The data came from the Bavarian Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians records covering the period 2005–2017.

The records held people's vaccination history and diagnosed conditions and included data on 12,262 people with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The dataset included dates of vaccinations for chickenpox, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, meningococci, pneumococci, human papillomavirus (HPV), tick-borne encephalitis (TBE), and hepatitis A and B.

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How do ancient viruses cause MS and other neurological diseases?

Ancient viruses have left behind traces in our DNA. Researchers believe these contribute to neurological conditions. Could inhibiting our viral passengers pave the way for future treatments?


What links neurological conditions and ancient viruses?

Transposable elements, which scientists also call transposons or jumping genes, are stretches of DNA that harbor the ability to move around our genome.

Scientists can trace back one type of transposon — human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) — to ancient retroviruses that inserted themselves into the human genome millions of years ago. HERVs make up about 8% of our DNA.

Some HERVs hold crucial functions during processes such as embryonic development. But most HERVs lie dormant, silenced by DNA modifications.

Yet, in a recent review article in Frontiers in Genetics, researchers from Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf, Germany, detail how some HERVs may be reactivated and wreak havoc in our brain and central nervous system.

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What are the best exercises for MS?

Exercise has a range of benefits for people with Multiple Sclerosis. It can, for example, help improve strength and mobility and boost mental well-being.

In previous years, doctors recommended that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) avoid too much physical activity, believing that it could make fatigue and other symptoms worse.

However, research has since revealed that exercise can, in fact, improve MS symptoms over time.

In this article, we discuss the best exercises for MS, their benefits, and tips for staying safe while exercising.

How can exercise help with MS?


Regular exercise can help people with MS improve their mobility, muscle movements, and overall quality of life.

MS is a progressive inflammatory disease that damages the myelin sheaths that coat nerve cells. An estimated 2.3 million people worldwide have MS. The symptoms come and go over time and can include numbness or tingling in the limbs, muscle weakness, and fatigue.

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How childhood viral infections may later drive multiple sclerosis

Childhood viral infections that reach the brain may prime it for the development of autoimmune conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis, later in life — this is what a recent study that scientists conducted in mice seems to suggest.


Could viral infections that occur during childhood 'pave the way' for MS later in life?

Recent research has shown that multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common neurological autoimmune condition among young adults worldwide, with 2,221,188 prevalent cases of MS in 2016 alone.

This condition can cause problems with movement, balance, coordination, and even vision, alongside fatigue and other symptoms.

Despite the fact that MS can be debilitating, and that it affects such a large number of people worldwide, scientists are still unsure what causes it.

Now, a team of researchers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland are proposing a new theory that viral infections during childhood could reach the brain and render the development of an autoimmune condition more likely later in life.

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