Binzer S, Binzer M, Kyvik KO, Imrell K, Hillert J, Stenager E. Every fifth case of multiple sclerosis is familial. Ugeskr Laeger. 2014 Jan 13;176(3A). pii: V04130245
Up to 20% of all multiple sclerosis (MS) cases are familial. The concordance rates for monozygotic and dizygotic twins are 25-30% and 3-5% respectively. Certain isolated regions have a higher prevalence of MS. An estimated 30% of the disease heritability is accounted for, mostly by common risk alleles. Interpretation of risk alleles, gene-gene and gene-environment interactions is challenging, but all are believed to be important factors in the development of MS. Isolates and MS families are warranted for further research concerning these issues.
Although it is often said that MS is not a genetic disease, it is very clear that indeed there is a strong genetic component to MS. At Ms life when we get to speak to alot of MSers it is is amazing how many people have a family member affected. Now this does not mean that if you have MS your children will, if fact the likelihood is that it willl not. However the chance is greater than if you did not have MS. In this Danish study one in five of the referrals was some on who had an affected family member. There are now about 160 genes that have been identfied only another 250 to go.