Food poisoning could trigger Multiple Sclerosis, according to a just-released research study.
Tests in mice from researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York shows that a toxin that causes food poisoning may cause damage in the brain that resembles Multiple Sclerosis, which affects about 400,000 people in the United States.
Researchers urge caution about jumping to too many conclusions, but the rare strain of toxin, called Clostridium perfringens was identified in triggers of the disease—which still has an unidentified origin or cause. It is a toxin that causes stomach cramps and diarrhea and is known to be in undercooked meat and dirt.
Finding out what causes the disease that affects the myelin sheath around nerve endings could help find a cure for the neurological illness.
Researcher Jennifer Linden presented the study at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
"Discovering potential causes or triggers for MS could enable us to develop better treatments or even, one day, prevent the condition. This is interesting research but the findings now need to be validated in larger studies to establish if this toxin really is a potential trigger for MS," said Dr. Susan Kohlhaas, Head of Biomedical Research at the MS Society.