Can divorce lead to Multiple Sclerosis?

It may seem absurd to ask: “Can divorce lead to Multiple Sclerosis?” But new research from Norway has now linked Multiple Sclerosis to childhood trauma. With family separation or divorce a leading contributor to such trauma, links between family separations and specific illnesses are no longer in the realms of science fiction.

In fact, the list of illnesses linked directly to childhood trauma or Adverse Childhood Experiences continues to grow as researchers around the world build on the pioneering studies of California’s first Surgeon General Nadine Burke-Harris and others.

Nearly three million people around the world have Multiple Sclerosis, or MS – a debilitating disease that causes our immune systems to attack our own nervous systems. There is now “very, very strong evidence” that the Epstein-Barr virus is likely to be the cause of multiple sclerosis, says Prof Gavin Giovannoni of Queen Mary University of London.

This virus is so common that most of us can expect to catch it at some point during our lives. It already has links to glandular fever. Now it seems that the virus may also lead to the development of MS in some people exposed to it. And, the latest Norwegian research suggests that exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences may be a trigger that causes the virus to wreak havoc on the neurones that make up our nervous systems.

We know that family separation or divorce are leading factors contributing to childhood trauma. This research is the latest, of many studies, to highlight the devastating, long-term impact of such trauma. So asking “can divorce lead to Multiple Sclerosis?” isn’t so absurd.