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Can MS be "triggered"?
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Can MS be "triggered"?

I had a spinal tap go horribly wrong when I contracted meningitis at the age of 22; needles scraping spinal cord, excessive fluid removal. Needle goes through contaminated spinal fluid, infects spinal cord, family already has MS history; NOT an outrageous possibility. I've had about 7 bouts of various types of meningitis in the 31 years since then. I go through years where I refuse spinal taps or even refuse to go into a hospital at all; preferring to ride it out at home.
I still have this sneaking suspicion that a latent disease was triggered by those first spinal taps.
Am I silly to believe this?
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144586_tn?1284669764
There is recent substantive evidence that MS may be caused by HERV-W virus

There is a list of co-factor that trigger the HERV-W, including herpes, toxoplasma, cytomegalovirus and a dozen others.

There is an article on this in the June 2010 issue of Discover magazine.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am conducting a study among the relationship between inmunization and vaccination.  Most of the studies are conducted on a small scale, controled group, but I want to do more representative of the real population affected.  Please help if you can.
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147426_tn?1317269232
Hi, and Welcome to the forum.

Yes, absolutely MS can be triggered by anything that causes an increase in immune activity such as an infection, viral and bacterial, immunizations and any period of immune system recovery after suppression such as the few months after delivery of a baby.

Your use of the word "triggered" is correct.  The disease must already be "set up" for this to occur.  Then there are many things known to trigger either the first attack or subsequent relapses.

I also note Caregiver's comment on HERV-W - which is a genetically encoded portion of a human retrovirus.  Somehow I have missed this line of study and will be reporting on it later.  It makes a lot of sense with what is known.  It incorporates and reinforces the research showing a strong genetic influence and the likely role of at least two viruses, namely EVB and HHV-6 (the Roseola virus).

Still this is a case of an embedded and not active germline in the genes being "triggered" by something else, like an active viral infection.

Very interesting.  Thanks for the heads up.  I should have been on top of this,

Quix
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147426_tn?1317269232
I didn't speak to your "not silly" worry.  I can see no way that the botched spinal taps could have "caused" the MS.  Meningitis is not a cause of MS.  Certainly it could trigger the disease in someone who is already completely susceptible and likely to develop  the MS anyway.

I cannot say this for certain, but it is an educated guess.

Quix
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1357272_tn?1277313507
Thank you!
The first bout of meningitis was caused by a serious (& 1st) outbreak of Herpes Simplex 2. That still breaks out about once or twice a year. Not all my go-rounds with meningitis have been from the same cause; I've had bacterial & viral. The nagging suspicion for me was knowing that the LP needles (multiples, they broke at least 2 that night during the procedure) scraped the meninges while travelling through virally infected spinal fluid.
Either way, I should just shrug my shoulders & say "da heck with it". It's just one of those "I wonder" moments we get when we can never know for certain.
As I've gotten older & LPs have become easier to take, I've promised the family not to balk at having them. The last 2 haven't been anywhere NEAR as horrid, thank heavens!
Cat
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911669_tn?1294102788
This is a great topic....

Quix, would the old "smallpox" vaccination be a causative trigger for MS at an early age?

I remember at the age of 6 before going to kindergarten probably 1966 or 1967, I personally had a bad reaction to the smallpox vaccine.

I was unable to walk for a few weeks and was hospitalized.  My mother could never remember why when I asked her about it a couple years ago.  I could feel my legs and remember having to drag myself around by my arms on the floor.  Then my leg function gradually came back.  Two years after that, I started with migraines.

If you can find any data on this, I would like to present it to my neuro.

terri
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