Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Familial risks for multiple sclerosis less than previously thought

Date:
January 22, 2014
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
Even though multiple sclerosis is largely caused by genetic factors, the risk of patients’ relatives developing the disease is lower than previously assumed, according to a new population registry-based study.

Even though multiple sclerosis is largely caused by genetic factors, the risk of patients' relatives developing the disease is lower than previously assumed. This is the conclusion of a new population registry-based study, published in the scientific journal Brain.

In the present study from Karolinska Institutet, researchers have assessed the familial risks for multiple sclerosis (MS) by using population registers and health care registries. This way, the researchers were able to include in their study almost everyone diagnosed with the disease in Sweden. Slightly over 28,000 individuals diagnosed with MS from 1968 onwards were identified. By using the Swedish Multi-generation registry, both biological and adopted relatives were identified and the researchers could assess the risks for the different groups.

This is the first study for MS in which the familial risks have been analyzed using matched controls. By including randomly selected controls and their relatives, the researchers could also assess the risk for relatives of MS patients developing the disease compared to the risk for the population in general.

The estimated risks in this study turned out lower than the previously reported high risks. The risk for a sibling to a person with multiple sclerosis for developing disease was seven times higher compared to the general population, while the risk for a child of an MS patient was five times higher. The study found no increase in risk for grandchildren and nieces/nephews.

"The population registers in Sweden are reliable tools for finding relatives to MS patients and their possible MS diagnosis, instead of relying on the patients' memories. Our study is a good example of how one can quickly achieve more reliable results than the previous studies that were based on patient groups collected in hospitals throughout decades," says Helga Westerlind, a doctoral student at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and first author of the article.

The researchers have also used the Swedish twin register to identify twins with multiple sclerosis and investigate how genes, shared environment and individual risk factors contribute to the disease. The analysis confirmed previous results: MS seems to be primarily caused by genetic factors, and secondarily by individual risk factors. A shared environment does not appear to be of any significance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Westerlind H, Ramanujam R, Uvehag D, Kuja-Halkola R, Boman M, Bottai M, Lichtenstein P, Hillert J. Modest familial risks for multiple sclerosis: a registry-based study of the population of Sweden. Brain, January 2014

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Familial risks for multiple sclerosis less than previously thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122091451.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2014, January 22). Familial risks for multiple sclerosis less than previously thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122091451.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Familial risks for multiple sclerosis less than previously thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140122091451.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins