Skip to navigation Skip to content



Researchers Explore Influence of Obesity vs. Age at Puberty as Risk Factors of MS

March 20, 2019

An international team led by researchers at McGill University published results of a study that looked at the potential influence of age at puberty with the risk of developing MS. They used genetic data gathered by the International MS Genetics Consortium and others and examined gene variants that control age at puberty. They found that the higher the age of puberty, the lower the risk for developing MS. Further study determined that this effect was largely due to the influence of obesity, and if obesity was not an added factor, they found that age at puberty was no longer a strong MS risk factor. Could reducing the rates of childhood and adolescent obesity reduce the number of people who develop MS? More research is needed to answer this question.

Read the press release from the American Academy of Neurology
Read the summary (abstract) of the paper published in the journal Neurology

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.


© 2023 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.