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MS and environmental factors

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Old 03-22-2005, 10:01 PM   #1
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ryka HB User
MS and environmental factors

I recently heard that from the research that was being done it is believed that MS is caused by genetics and environmental factors..Does anyone know what the environmental factor are? Is MS passed through genetics or is it hereditary? Any responces would be very helpful.

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Old 03-23-2005, 06:16 AM   #2
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LaDeeDa HB User
Re: MS and environmental factors

I recently read that possible environmental factors are a theory that is being investigated, but as of yet, no identifiable determinations. It is interesting that specific latitudes, as well as ethnic groups and genders, are effected more than others.

As I understand, MS is not hereditary, but is familial. In other words, more than one family member may have MS, but the reason may not necessarily be because it was 'inherited'. Likewise, no gene has yet been identified.

Old 03-23-2005, 09:33 AM   #3
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Jewel2 HB User
Re: MS and environmental factors

My understanding is pretty much the same as LaDeeDa's (love your name, btw) regarding the environmental aspect.

And they think that a person can have a familial 'genetic predisposition' to MS, but they're not sure what it is.

Although, I just read an article this morning that said that researchers have identified a variation in a gene that controls the immune messenger chemical called 'interferon gamma' (different from interferon betas which are used to treat MS). The interferon gamma has been linked to immune attacks in MS. Even more interesting is that recent research suggests that IFN gamma is more active in women who have MS than in men. The researchers are looking at the possibility of this explaining why more women than men develop MS.

The bottom line is that they are suggesting that a person who has this variant gene that produces high levels on IFN gamma may be predisposed to developing MS. They obviously have to study this more in depth, but this is a pretty big breakthrough in genetic research in MS.

I also wonder about a possible connection between environment and this variant gene. Perhaps someday all of the pieces of the puzzle will fit together and a cure can be found!

Sorry to go on a ramble, but I found this bit of science pretty interesting and encouraging.


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