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MS risk for family members lower than previously thought

Written by: QMI Agency
 

Jan. 23, 2014

MS risk not as high for family members (Fotolia)


The risk of a family member of someone with multiple sclerosis also developing the disease is lower than previously thought, a new study has found.

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Researchers at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet looked at data involving 28,000 MS patients and their biological relatives.

They noted MS is primarily caused by genetic factors.

The risk of an MS patient's sibling developing the disease is seven times higher compared to the general population, while the risk for a child of an MS patient is five times higher.

The study found there was no increase in risk for grandchildren or nieces and nephews.

Some reports have said having a parent or sibling with MS means you are at a 20 to 40 times higher risk than the general population.

The study was published in the scientific journal Brain.

Approximately 100,000 Canadians have MS, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada says.

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