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Researchers Recruiting African-Americans with MS Across the U.S. for Genetics Studies – Key to finding cause of MS and better treatments

January 1, 2021

Rationale: Genes are known to play a role in determining who is susceptible to developing multiple sclerosis and may also influence the severity and course of the disease. People living with MS can make a difference in studies searching for these genes by donating their DNA from blood samples. Identifying the exact location of MS genes could help determine who is at risk for developing the disease and may provide clues to its cause, prevention, and better treatment. Focusing on diverse ancestral groups such as African-Americans, Hispanic, and Northern Europeans, and searching for what is common and what is different in their DNA sequences may help identify the precise genetic variants that contribute to disease risk. Large numbers of participants, both affected and healthy controls, are needed to accelerate this research.

Details: It is not necessary to travel to San Francisco to participate in this study. Once an individual has completed the initial online intake form and has agreed to participate, they are emailed the links to two additional online forms and sent a kit via express mail. The kit includes a consent form, a health information privacy form, and a medical records release form. The kit also includes everything necessary for the blood draw, which can be taken to your local Quest Diagnostics Lab, where the blood can be drawn and then returned in a prepaid envelope to the UCSF MS Genetics Lab. There is no cost to the study participants.  Individuals recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis living in the San Francisco Bay Area are also eligible to participate in an MRI study to identify relationships between genetic profiles and tissue damage in the brain and spinal cord.

Please note: this study cannot enroll international participants at this time.
Contact: To participate or request additional information, please complete our brief intake survey.
OR you may contact us directly:
Clinical Research Coordinator
UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Genetic Susceptibility Project
675 Nelson Rising Lane, Suite 235A, Box 3206
San Francisco, CA 94158
Email: msdb@ucsf.edu
Website: https://msgenetics.ucsf.edu/

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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© 2021 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.