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The genetics of multiple sclerosis


Lin, R and Charlesworth, J and van der Mei, I and Taylor, BV, The genetics of multiple sclerosis, Practical Neurology, 12, (5) pp. 279-288. ISSN 1474-7758 (2012) [Substantial Review]

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DOI: doi:10.1136/practneurol-2012-000276


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Improved prevention and treatment will depend on a greater understanding of the causes and mechanisms involved in its onset and progression. MS is clearly driven by both environmental and genetic factors. Established contributory environmental factors include lower ultraviolet radiation exposure and lower vitamin D levels, Epstein-Barr virus and smoking. Our current understanding of MS genetics is undergoing a major upgrade as new genetic technologies are applied to large MS studies. In this article, we review the current literature describing a genetic contribution to MS susceptibility and review the methods to detect genetic variants that may underlie the genetic contribution to MS. We also consider how reporting of genetic discoveries in MS in the lay press has caused some confusion among patients and their families, who, not surprisingly, think that these discoveries can be translated into an available genetic test to diagnose MS or recognise family members at risk of developing MS. We review the current limited clinical use of genetics in the diagnosis and management of MS.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Clinical sciences
Research Field:Medical genetics (excl. cancer genetics)
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lin, R (Ms Lin)
UTAS Author:Charlesworth, J (Dr Jac Charlesworth)
UTAS Author:van der Mei, I (Professor Ingrid van der Mei)
UTAS Author:Taylor, BV (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:84104
Year Published:2012
Funding Support:National Health and Medical Research Council (605511)
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2013-04-17
Last Modified:2014-04-04
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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