The Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) has awarded five young investigators for their research work on multiple sclerosis (MS).
The awards were presented at the ACTRIMS Forum 2018, held Feb. 1-3 in San Diego, California.
Adil Harroud, MD, from McGill University, won the award for “Best Young Investigator Oral Presenter,” for his study “Effect of Age at Puberty on Risk of Multiple Sclerosis: A Mendelian Randomization Study”.
According to the research, “Puberty attainment marks a dramatic increase in MS incidence and the emergence of a female predominant sex ratio, suggesting that it may be a defining period in MS etiology” the team wrote in its study.
The study’s goal was to clarify whether puberty onset at a younger age increases the chances of developing MS, given that contradictory results have been reported on that hypothesis.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis based on genetic variants strongly associated with age at menarche (the first menstrual cycle) in a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) involving 329,245 women.
The analysis revealed that a one-year decrease in the age at puberty increased odds of MS development by 8 percent.
However, after taking into account the effect of body mass index (BMI) in puberty timing, the direct effect of age on MS susceptibility was lost.
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