Women at higher genetic risk for multiple sclerosis: Study

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Washington, Jan 6 (ANI): A new research has found that women who have multiple sclerosis (MS) are more likely to have a gene associated with multiple sclerosis than men with the disease and it is this gene region where environment interacts with the genetics.

The study has also shown that the number of people diagnosed with MS has been rising, and the rate has been rising faster for women than for men.

The cause of MS is not known, but evidence suggests that it is triggered by environmental factors in people who are genetically susceptible to the disease.

The main gene associated with MS is the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II gene, but most of the risk comes from interaction of both parental genes.

The study examined the HLA genes of 1,055 families with more than one person with MS in the family. The genes of 7,093 people were tested, which included 2,127 people with MS.

The researchers found that women with MS were 1.4 times more likely to have the HLA gene variant associated with MS than men with MS.

This fits with other research by this research group showing that the environment interacts with this gene region to produce modification in risk associated with it. This appears to be an epigenetic mechanism.

The findings have been published in the January 5, 2011, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. (ANI)

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