A complex, and yet unknown, interaction between nature and nurture (genetics and environment) causes MS.

While most people with MS may have no family history of MS, in rare cases we can see an unusual pattern  of MS in families. This underlines the role of genes in causing MS.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada looked at the records of 2,053 people with MS and 755 healthy controls. They selected two families, from which they studied 7 people with severe and progressive MS.

They found that a mutation in a gene called NR1H3 could increase the risk of progressive MS. If other researchers can replicate these findings, this may lead to the development of effective treatments targeting the biological pathways associated with this gene in people with the highly debilitating and currently untreatable progressive phase of MS.

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