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Monday, September 14, 2015

New Genetic Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis Identified in Study

Two new risk factors for multiple sclerosis have been identified by a research group at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Led by Dr. Loukas Moutsianas, the team discovered that having HLA-DQA1*01:01–HLA-DRB1*15:01 and HLA-DQB1*03:01–HLA-DQB1*03:02 gene allele interactions put an individual at risk for developing multiple sclerosis. The findings were recently outlined in a study published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics, entitled “Class II HLA Interactions Modulate Genetic Risk for Multiple Sclerosis.
The research team was working off of previous knowledge that human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles — specifically, the HLA-DRB1*15:01 allele — dominate a patient’s risk factor for developing multiple sclerosis. There is some evidence that HLA alleles interact with each other in other neurological disorders, but such a phenomenon had not been reported for multiple sclerosis.

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