How Your Genes Are Connected to Multiple Sclerosis

Patricia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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Your parents’ genes came together to create your genetic makeup, and that’s exactly what gives your body directions on how to look, both inside and out. That covers everything from your hair color to your eye color to health conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS).

MOREMyelin dysfunction linked to gene mutations

According to the MS Society, there isn’t a gene that directly causes MS, but there are certain genes that may make you more susceptible. So far, researchers have found more than 110 genes that are connected to MS.

However it’s not as simple as saying if you have those genes, you’ll have MS. It depends on a variety of things, including your lifestyle and several environmental factors. If you’re never exposed to those factors, then there’s a very good chance your condition will never be triggered, even if you have the connected genes.

Your parents may pass along the genes connected to MS, but not MS, since it isn’t caused by a single gene (or even a combination of genes). That’s not to say there won’t be more than one case of MS in a family, but it’s not likely.

Researchers are hard at work looking into the genes that are connected to the condition, as they are the best chance we have of understanding the probability of MS. Doctors will hopefully be able to use that information to create treatments that can help prevent those who are genetically predisposed to MS from developing the disease.

Many of these genes are connected to the immune system in some way and some are connected to autoimmune conditions.

Other discoveries that have been made in the last few years have connected certain genes to vitamin D deficiencies, a person’s BMI and various symptoms of MS.

MORE: Genetics and multiple sclerosis at #ACTRIMS2016

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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