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While the exact cause of MS is unknown, most researchers believe that the damage tomyelin results from an abnormal response by the body’s immune system. Normally, the immune system defends the body against foreign invaders such as viruses or bacteria. In autoimmune diseases, the body attacks its own tissue. It is believed that MS is an autoimmune disease. In the case of MS, myelin is attacked.
Scientists do not yet know what triggers the immune system to do this. Most agree that several factors are involved, including:
Scientists have long been searching for an infectious agent that might trigger MS. While many different viruses have been suggested, none has yet been confirmed. Chlamydia pneumoniae, a bacterial agent, has also been suggested but never proven. Although no trigger has yet been identified, most MS experts believe that some infectious agent is involved in initiating the disease process.
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