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    Proposed Triggers of Multiple Sclerosis

    Viral infection, injury, and pregnancy are the most frequently proposed triggers for multiple sclerosis (MS). But there is no scientific proof that they trigger MS in a person who does not already have the disease.

    In someone who already has MS, a viral infection such as the flu can trigger a relapse. There is no proof that flu vaccination (or any other vaccination) increases the chance of a relapse. In fact, people with MS may want to consider getting an annual flu shot to avoid infection and any attacks it may trigger. But there is no evidence that the nasal spray vaccine is safe for people with MS. If you have MS, talk with your doctor about whether a nasal spray vaccine is right for you.

    Studies have also shown that women with MS have:1

    In people who have been diagnosed with MS, there is no proof that attacks or worsening of the disease is brought on by:

    • Insertion of hypodermic needles into the fluid surrounding the lower spine (lumbar puncture).
    • Surgery and anesthesia.
    • Emotional stress.

    Citations

    1. Bennett KA (2005). Pregnancy and multiple sclerosis. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 48(1): 38-47.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
    Specialist Medical ReviewerBarrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology

    Current as ofMarch 12, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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