Environment Theory

Over 20 infectious agents have been suggested as etiologic agents. Currently, human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6) is the most likely causative virus. HHV-6 may initiate MS in two ways. First, HHV-6 is structurally similar to myelin basic protein. When T cells become sensitive to HHV-6, the cells may attack myelin basic protein. Second, HHV-6 may directly stimulate the complement cascade, activating autoimmune processes.6

Infection with HHV-6 cannot fully explain MS, because HHV-6 is found in 75% of the population, but MS is much less common.

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