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DISEASE STUDIES

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a heterogeneous disorder with variable clinical and pathological characteristics that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. The inflammation, demyelination and axonal (nerves) degeneration are the principal pathological mechanisms that cause the clinical manifestations of the illness. Nonetheless, the cause of MS is still unknown.

The most accepted theory is that MS begins as an autoimmune inflammatory illness mediated by autoreactive lymphocytes. Later on, the illness is dominated by microglial activation and chronic neurodegeneration.

Multiple sclerosis affects more women than men. The disorder is most commonly diagnosed between ages 20 and 40, but it can be seen at any age. It appears about 5 years earlier in women than in men, and rarely develops after age 70. The incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis varies geographically. There is no link between vaccines and MS. Although many viruses, especially Epstein-Barr virus have been linked to MS but there is no specific evidence that these viruses directly affect the development of the illness.

Genetic factors can also contribute to MS pathology, particularly the variation which implicates the HLA-DRB1 locus.

GENE OR REGION STUDIED


  • IL7R
  • CLEC16A
  • C6orf10
  • 6p21.32
  • 13q31.3
  • 3q13.11