Multiple Sclerosis Cases Continue To Rise in Countries With Traditionally Small MS Populations

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MS is other parts of the world

MS is other parts of the worldRecent research continues to suggest that MS is on the rise is countries that in the past posted small diagnoses of the disease. The latest study reveals that Multiple Sclerosis affects more second-generation Kuwaiti migrants than previously thought, according to an article published in BME Neurology. The findings of “Non-Parametric Analysis of Seasonality in Birth and Multiple Sclerosis Risk in Second Generation of Migrants in Kuwait” agree with previous studies reported by Multiple Sclerosis News Today: as discussed at the first Middle East North Africa Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (MENACTRIMS) Congress, the development rate of multiple sclerosis is on the rise outside the United States, with a ten-times higher prevalence in Kuwait, a four-times higher prevalence in Saudi Arabia, and a two-times higher prevalence in Jordan. The present study sought to sort out any inconsistencies in reports of multiple sclerosis rates in Kuwait.

Led by Dr. Saeed Akhtar of the University of Kuwait in Safat, the six-member team analyzed data from migrant multiple sclerosis patients registered in the Kuwait National Multiple Sclerosis Registry. All patients were born in and lived in Kuwait between January 1, 1950 and April 30, 2013.

Data showed the prevalence of multiple sclerosis births was 23.8 per 100,000 general population births. This was statistically higher than the previously reported rate of 16.2 per every 100,000. Similar to other studies, there was a higher chance of developing multiple sclerosis for females.

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In addition to analyzing the rate of multiple sclerosis, the team used non-parametric modeling to find a relationship between birth month and multiple sclerosis risk. There was a slight, statistically higher chance of developing multiple sclerosis for individuals born during between September and February.

Kuwait is considered a low-risk zone for multiple sclerosis, while the United States is considered a high-risk zone. Individuals who migrate from high-risk zones to low-risk zones tend to keep their high risk for developing multiple sclerosis. It is thought seasonal patterns have an impact on developing multiple sclerosis, and this study suggests that environmental factors may minimally influence the chance of developing multiple sclerosis.

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Maureen Newman is a science columnist for BioNews Texas. She is currently a PhD student studying biomedical engineering at University of Rochester, working towards a career of research in biomaterials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine. She is an integral part of Dr. Danielle Benoit's laboratory, where she is investigating bone-homing therapeutics for osteoporosis treatment.
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