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UCSF DNA Bank Seeks Participants to Help End MS

January 14, 2013

People living with MS may hold the key to curing this disease. They, and often their family members, can make a difference in studies of the genes that put people at risk for MS by donating their DNA from blood samples. Understanding the role of genes in MS could revolutionize the way this disease is diagnosed and treated, and ultimately lead to ending MS forever through its prevention.

The National MS Society has been supporting a DNA Bank at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) for many years. This bank is a shared resource that is feeding many of the genetic breakthroughs happening today. The UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Group is a founding member of the International MS Genetics Consortium seeking to understand the genetic basis of MS. A large number of participants are needed to accelerate discovery. Please note: this is a nationwide study; and people everywhere can participate without living near or traveling to San Francisco, CA.

Family MS Study

The UCSF MS Genetics Group is looking for participation of two types of families: single-case and multi-case families.
  • Single-case families are those where only one member is diagnosed with MS. Participation will require a one-time donation of blood from the individual with MS and, if available, a control. The control cannot be a family member but can be a spouse or friend. Preferably the control will be of the same ethnicity and approximately the same age as the individual with MS.
  • Multi-case families are those where multiple living, family members have been diagnosed with MS. For these families, the group collects blood samples from all affected family members, unaffected siblings, and both parents of individuals diagnosed with MS. If not all of the individuals requested are able to participate, enrollment is still possible and will be discussed by phone.

African-American MS Study

Different populations are being studied to learn why some ethnic groups develop MS at higher rates than others. The MS Genetics Group is asking for the donation of a blood sample from African-American individuals with MS and controls without MS. It is not required, but the participation of certain family members is preferred as well.

What is Involved?

Participants for either study will be asked to:
  • Read and sign a consent and authorization form
  • Sign a form to release medical records (only individuals with MS)
  • Complete a family information form
  • Donate a blood sample (approximately five tablespoons)
At all times, records and other information that is shared with the investigators are handled in a confidential manner. There will be no charges for participation in this study.

To participate or request additional information, please complete this brief intake survey OR you may contact the DNA bank directly:

UCSF Clinical Coordinator
675 Nelson Rising Lane, Suite 235A, Box 3206
San Francisco, CA 94158
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-MS-Genes (1-866-674-3637)

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.


© 2020 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and our Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.