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International Consortium Pinpoints 200 Genetic Variations That Can Influence Risk of Getting MS

October 20, 2016

The International Consortium of MS Genetics has identified 200 genetic variations associated with MS, providing new leads to understanding how genes and other factors combine to make people susceptible to getting multiple sclerosis. These findings were made possible by the combined efforts of consortium members, who were able to analyze data from more than 100,000 people. These studies are already yielding important clues to the cause of MS and developing strategies for stopping the disease and ending it forever: Most of the identified gene variants implicate genes associated with immune system function, and many are also involved in other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Type I diabetes, and ulcerative colitis.
The team reported on these findings at the American Society of Human Genetics 2016 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C. Additional details will be available when the study is published in a journal. This work has been supported by several sources, including research grants from the National MS Society and a Society Career Transition Fellowship to study presenter Nikolaos A. Patsopoulos, MD, PhD (Brigham and Women’s Hospital). 

Read more about this study from the American Society of Human Genetics
Read more about the search for MS genes
Participate in the search for MS genes


About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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