GEMS Project: A Platform to Investigate Multiple Sclerosis Risk.
Xia Z, White CC, Owen EK, Von Korff A, Clarkson SR, McCabe CA, Cimpean M, Winn PA, Hoesing A, Steele SU, Cortese IC, Chitnis T, Weiner HL, Reich DS, Chibnik LB, De Jager PL.
Ann Neurol. 2015 Nov 19. doi: 10.1002/ana.24560. [Epub ahead of print]
The Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis (GEMS) project establishes a platform to investigate the events leading to MS in at-risk individuals. It has recruited 2,632 first-degree relatives from across the USA. Using an integrated genetic and environmental risk score, we identified subjects with twice the MS risk when compared to the average family member, and we report an initial incidence rate in these subjects that is 30 times greater than that of sporadic MS. We discuss the feasibility of large-scale studies of asymptomatic at-risk subjects that leverage modern tools of subject recruitment to execute collaborative projects.