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Monday, January 23, 2017

High-risk relatives of MS patients show early signs of disease


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Information provided by: Cherie C. Binns RN BS MSCN

Publish date: January 17, 2017
By: Heidi Splete  Frontline Medical News

Key clinical point: Higher-risk asymptomatic female family relatives of patients with MS are more likely to have early subclinical manifestations of the disease and deserve further monitoring.

Major finding: Women at high risk for MS scored significantly higher on a composite of measured outcomes (P = .01) and on a vibration sensitivity test (P = .008), compared with lower-risk women.

Data source: A prospective, cross-sectional, cohort study of 65 adult women at risk for MS.

Disclosures: The National Institutes of Health and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society supported the study. Some of the authors reported receiving awards from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Academy of Neurology, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Asymptomatic first-degree relatives of multiple sclerosis patients at high risk for developing the disease were significantly more likely to show subclinical signs of MS than were family members at lower risk, in the Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis prospective cohort study. The findings were published online on Jan. 17 in JAMA Neurology.

The Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis (GEMS) project is the first prospective study of populations at risk for MS and is the first detailed cross-sectional examination of higher-risk and lower-risk family members to date, according to investigators led by Zongqi Xia, MD, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. Although the totality of evidence put together through neuroimaging and numerous clinical tests in the study indicate that individuals with the highest risk for MS have higher risk for the disease than do those with the lowest risk, simple vibration threshold testing gave the best results, Dr. Xia and his colleagues reported.

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