Is Genealogy a factor in the Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis?

I have long considered that a hereditary factor could be at play in the multiple sclerosis risk factor. I was advised many years ago that MS could be passed from mother to son, or from father to daughter. It is possible that I inherited my predisposition for MS from my mother who was diagnosed with RRMS many years ago. But what are the real factors that genetics can play.

Genetics Molecule
DNA Molecule

Quite why the passing of a generation should also cross the gender barrier I have never found out. I have seen the hereditary risk discussed many times over the years, but it never seems to be considered as a major factor.

I was, therefore, most interested to discover that the University of Cambridge along with Addenbrookes Hospital are carrying out research into the question. The Genetic analysis of Multiple Sclerosis is seeking volunteers to complete a questionnaire and submit a blood sample for genetic analysis.

I have put my name forward for this programme and I am currently awaiting a visit from the Research Sister, who will discuss the questionnaire and take the blood sample.

I have had the visit from the nurse at Addenbrookes Hospital and she took blood samples from myself and my mother and father. This will be submitted to the research program but, I shall here nothing further from them unless the blood tests reveal anything particularly unpleasant.

Reported in “New Pathways” this month (Jan 2006), Professor Compston and his team at Cambridge University need more volunteers to take part in the research. so if you are willing to participate, and you and another family member have been diagnosed with MS then contact Sheila Skidmore for more information:

Sheila Skidmore

University of Cambridge
Neurology Unit
Box 165
Addenbrookes Hospital
Cambridge
CB2 2QQ

01223 336942

IMPORTANT: The above information was published around 2006 so may well be out-of-date

On a slightly different note, researchers at Swiss-based Serono have identified 80 genes involved in multiple sclerosis, forming the basis of a library of potential targets for future treatments. Scientists at Serono’s research centre in Paris studied data from 1,800 patients, half of whom had MS, and used Gene Chip technology to identify and register the genes involved in the inflammatory and neuro-degenerative pathways of the disease.

References

A Scientific Viewpoint of genetics

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The Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis
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