Will we ever be able to predict who will develop MS with sufficient accuracy to us the algorithm in prevention trials? #MSBlog #MSResearch
"The following abstract describes a study that is currently investigating environmental factors linked to MS. The investigators describe their methods and are encouraging others to use similar methods. We are part of another international consortium that will be launching a similar study; our plan is to use an innovative web-based recruitment strategy to investigate risk factors and to try and develop a prediction algorithm. If we can identify people in the general population that are at very high risk of developing MS we may be able to include them in clinical trials to prevent MS."
"My interest in this project related to EBV infection. Part of the proof that EBV causes MS, is showing that preventing, or modifying, EBV infection prevents, or at least reduces the chances of, people developing MS. To do EBV intervention studies we need to target people at high-risk of developing MS, which will allow us to get an answer to this critical question in a reasonable period of time."
BACKGROUND: MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system, often resulting in significant neurological disability. The causes of MS are not known; however, the incidence of MS is increasing, thereby suggesting that changes in lifestyle and/or environmental factors may be responsible. On this background, the Environmental Risk Factors in MS Study or EnvIMS study was designed to further explore the etiology of MS. The design and methodology are described, providing details to enable investigators to (i) use our experiences to design their own studies; (ii) take advantage of, and build on the methodological work completed for, the EnvIMS study; (iii) become aware of this data source that is available for use by the research community.
METHODS: EnvIMS is a multinational case-control study, enrolling 2,800 cases with MS and 5,012 population-based controls in Canada, Italy, Norway, Serbia and Sweden. The study was designed to investigate the most commonly implicated risk factors for MS etiology using a self-report questionnaire.
RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: The use of a common methodology to study MS etiology across several countries enhances the comparability of results in different geographic regions and research settings, reduces the resources required for study design and enhances the opportunity for data harmonization.