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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Mapping reveals 110 multiple sclerosis risk genes


by Anders Malm/else Lie

Mapping reveals 110 multiple sclerosis risk genes



The figure above shows the results of the last large-scale genetic screening of MS in which 110 genes are shown to be linked to the development of the disorder (the greater the link, the further the bar reaches into the centre of the figure). …more


Norwegian researchers have mapped genetic variations associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and myasthenia gravis (MG), bringing science one step closer to understanding these serious autoimmune disorders.

The Norwegian researchers have taken part in an international cooperative effort to map 110 genetic variations that increase the risk of MS and MG. Most of these genetic variations have been mapped in recent years.
"Rapid advances have been made in this area of research," explains Hanne F. Harbo, professor at the University of Oslo and head of the clinical science group at Oslo University Hospital.

She has received funding under the Research Council of Norway's national initiative on neuroscientific research (NEVRONOR) to head Norwegian research projects on MS and MG. The projects have been carried out in close cooperation with an international network of researchers.

Serious neurological and muscular disorders

Autoimmune disorders result from reactions by the body's immune system which in turn attack and destroy healthy cells.

"Our understanding of the causes of these diseases remains limited, but we do know that the immune system plays a key role in the debilitating processes that occur. MS attacks the central nervous system, causing inflammatory processes that lead to a variety of neurological symptoms including paralysis, loss of sensory function, and problems with vision and bladder function. MG affects the transmission of signals between the peripheral motoric nerve cells and muscles, resulting in muscular fatigue in the patient," Dr Harbo explains.

Genetic and environmental factors linked





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