Cause of Multiple Sclerosis

Genetics

The role of genetics as the cause of multiple sclerosis has not been established, however, there is strong evidence that there is a genetic component to the disease.

What this means is that the genes you have inherited may play a role in making you more susceptible to developing multiple sclerosis. They do not, however, mean that you will definitely develop the disease.

Population studies have shown that people of Northern European ancestry are more likely to develop the disease than people whose ancestry is Southeast Asian.

Studies in families where multiple sclerosis occurs have shown that relatives of someone with multiple sclerosis have a greater chance of developing the disease than they would normally have.

Studies with identical twins have shown that if an identical twin develops multiple sclerosis, then there is a one in three chance that the other will also develop the disease.

This does point to a strong genetic component in multiple sclerosis but it also shows that there is more going than just genes. This is because if one twin develops multiple sclerosis, the other would also definitely develop the disease if it was solely a matter of inherited genes, whereas this does not happen.

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Multiple Sclerosis

Approx 2.5 million people worldwide, have Multiple Sclerosis.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis is currently thought to be an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is one where the body's immune system is thought to attack its own cells and therefore cause damage.... Read More