African Americans and multiple sclerosis
The myth that African Americans do not get MS is just that — a myth. African Americans do get MS. In fact, studies suggest that MS can be especially active. African Americans:
are more likely to experience more relapses
are more likely to experience greater disability
have a greater risk of progressing to require ambulatory assistance earlier
are more likely to develop involvement of the optic nerves and spinal cord (optic — spinal MS) and inflammation of the spinal cord (transverse myelitis)
Participate in MS genetics studies
Different populations are being studied to learn why some ethnic groups develop MS at higher rates than others. The MS Genetics Group is asking for the donation of a blood samples from African-American individuals with MS and controls without MS. It is not required, but the participation of certain family members is preferred as well. Learn more.