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September 19, 1977

Viruses and Multiple Sclerosis

JAMA. 1977;238(12):1247. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280130029004

To the Editor.—  Gokcen and Cox (237:1311, 1977) observed that SV-40 virus and arboviruses could produce type IV hyperlipidemia in experimental animals and that viral upper respiratory tract infections in patients with coronary artery disease may produce transient type IV hyperlipoproteinemias.Reports about diverse lipid abnormalities detectable in the serum and in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have accumulated in recent years. Total cholesterol level has been reported to be increased during remission, while the total amount of lipidphosphorus is reduced in the stationary stages of the disease.1 The percentage of linoleate in the phospholipids of platelets and erythrocytes has been shown to be substantially reduced.2 In view of these findings, a serum lipid profile has been performed in 60 MS patients selected at random. Almost half of the patients (N-29; 48.3%) had hyperlipoproteinemias: 17 patients had type IV, 8 patients had type IIa,