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Saturday, January 11, 2014
Mapping reveals 110 multiple sclerosis risk genes
by Anders Malm/else Lie
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
neurological and muscular disorders
disorders result from reactions by the body's immune system which in turn
attack and destroy healthy cells.
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.