Monday, 26 July 2010

Genes determine low levels of vitamin D: implications for MS

Vitamin D is crucial for maintenance of the immune system and vD deficiency has been implicated in the causal pathway of MS. In this study genetic variants at three places in the genome were associated with vD levels. Subjects with a score that combined all three variants were at increased risk of having low vD concentrations. These variants in the genome are near genes involved in cholesterol metabolism and vD transport. It will be very important to see if these areas are associated with MS. This study tells us that the story behind vD and MS will be very complex; it will take a lot of hard work to pin down how vD deficiency contributes to the pathogenesis of MS.

Wang et al. Lancet. 2010 Jul 17;376(9736):148-9.

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