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Study Shows Distance from the Equator Linked to Age of When a Person Develops MS

November 15, 2016

In a large, international study, each 10-degree increase in distance from the equator was associated with a 10-month decrease in age at onset of MS symptoms. Led by researchers at the University of Tazmania, the MSBase study group (an international database of neurological records of people with MS worldwide) looked at the records of more than 22,000 people with MS from 21 countries. Previous studies had found that more people are at risk for getting MS in areas distant from the equator.  

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About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.

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The National MS Society, founded in 1946, is the global leader of a growing movement dedicated to creating a world free of MS. The Society funds cutting-edge research for a cure, drives change through advocacy and provides programs and services to help people affected by MS live their best lives. Connect to learn more and get involved:, Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


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