Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Research:MS is chasing the Sun

Deleu D, Mir D, Al Tabouki A, Mesraoua R, Mesraoua B, Akhtar N, Al Hail H, D'souza A, Melikyan G, Imam YZ, Osman Y, Elalamy O, Sokrab T, Kamran S, Miyares FR, Ibrahim F. Prevalence, demographics and clinical characteristics of multiple sclerosis in Qatar. Mult Scler. 2012 Sep [Epub ahead of print]

No published epidemiologic data on multiple sclerosis (MS) in Qatar exist. Our objectives were to determine the prevalence, demographics and clinical characteristics of MS in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. We analyzed data for Qatari MS patients fulfilling the McDonald diagnostic criteria. A total of 154 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. On 31 April 2010, the crude prevalence of MS in Qatar was 92.69 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI: 87.58-95.86). The female-to-male ratio was 1.33:1. A positive family history was found in 10.4% of included MS patients. We conclude that Qatar is now a medium-to-high risk area for MS

As you have heard many time on the BLOG that MS is usually found at high levels further from the equator. In the past the prevalence of MS in the region has been low, such as in Saudi Arabia, where it was about 10 cases per 100,000. Qatar has a population of about 300,000. Likewise across the Persian Gulf the prevalence of MS in Iran has been increasing with a prevalence of about 30 per 100,000. Understanding these changes will help us get at causes and methods of prevention of MS.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a highly polymorphic disease characterized by different neurologic signs and symptoms. In MS, racial and genetic factors may play an important role in the geographic distribution of this disease. Studies have reported the presence of several protective alleles against the development of autoimmune disorders. In the case of MS, however, they help define MS as a complex disease, and confirm the importance of environmental agents as an independent variable not associated with ethnicity. We carried out an on-site epidemiological study to confirm the absence of MS or NMO among Lacandonians, a pure Amerindian ethnic group in Mexico. We administered a structured interview to 5,372 Lacandonians to assess by family background any clinical data consistent with the presence of a prior demyelinating event. Every participating subject underwent a comprehensive neurological examination by a group of three members of the research team with experience in the diagnosis and treatment of demyelinating disorders to detect clinical signs compatible with a demyelinating disease. We did not find any clinical signs compatible with multiple sclerosis among study participants.

So there is probably a genetic component to developing MS, we know that now what would happen if we transplanted the Lacandonians into Scotland?...they may win the olympics football:-)

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