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Is MS triggered by bacterial toxin?

There are many things that are still unknown about multiple sclerosis. For example, it is still unclear what specific things trigger the development of this disease.

A recent study identified a bacterial toxin that might be an MS trigger. The toxin is a byproduct of a certain strain of Clostridium perfringens and it is called epsilon toxin. Clostridium perfringens is a bacterium associated with food poisoning.

The study, conducted by researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College, found that epsilon toxin has negative effects on some of the same cells, meningeal cells and myelin-producing cells, that MS impacts. Based on these findings, the researchers postulate that there could be a link between epsilon toxin and MS.

A great deal more research will need to be done in order to determine if epsilon toxin is, in fact, a trigger for MS. Finding out what sorts of things can trigger MS could be an important step in developing improved therapies for the condition.

Declines in strength, memory, concentration, dexterity and agility are among the things MS can cause a person to experience. Generally, the severity of the symptoms of MS increases with time. Thus, MS can lead to a gradual impairment of a person's abilities, such as their ability to perform the tasks they need to in order to work in their profession.

There are certain requirements an MS sufferer needs to meet in order to qualify for disability benefits. Individuals who can't work due to MS symptoms should consider bringing questions they have regarding whether they are eligible for disability benefits to a Social Security Disability attorney.

Source: Fox News, "Bacterial toxin may trigger multiple sclerosis, research finds," Amanda Woerner, Jan. 29, 2014

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