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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, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

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The National MS Society, founded in 1946, funds cutting-edge research, 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, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or 1-800-344-4867.


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