Saturday, 1 November 2014

Its all in the family


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.

5 comments:

  1. I would argue that it is probably higher than every fifth case... We know of the known cases, but what do I really know about the health of my extended family? Very little. Unless somebody is in a wheelchair and it is pretty obvious that something is wrong.
    J

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    1. True. Even when someone is in a wheelchair or it is otherwise obvious that something is wrong, you don't always know why.
      Here I'm talking of second & third cousins and beyond. On occasion when the large extended family is present, a few people are in wheelchairs. I think they may have MS

      Conversely, about the known MS cases (known to me that is), many other family members either do not know it's MS or they forget the name of the disease. It's just "I'm not sure what she has. Something serious". Most of those who know it's called Multiple Sclerosis think it's something that affects the muscles


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  2. I had a closer look at this paper, it is a review paper and not an original study, but a good review for that. Pity that it was only published in Danish with an abstract in English.

    J
    PS Full text version of this paper does not disappoint, but often the conclusions in the title of a scientific article and the abstract have no bearings in the actual data. People beware, one can quickly conclude something without having any hard evidence for it.

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    1. Quite right.....where would basic science immunology be otherwise:-)

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  3. I would love to understand this better, having a non-MS fraternal twin brother and an adopted at birth sister who was diagnosed with MS just 1 month after me this year!

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