Do currently available disease-modifying medications delay the clinical progression of multiple sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is the most prevalent chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS), affecting more than 2 million people worldwide (at least 400,000 in the United States). Read the latest NEJM Review Article here.
Q: What is the strongest genetic risk factor for multiple sclerosis?
A: Genomewide association studies, based on samples assembled from thousands of patients with multiple sclerosis and matched controls, have identified more than 200 gene variants that raise the risk of the disease, of which the most significant remains the HLA DRB1*1501 haplotype (with an odds ratio of approximately 3). Most risk alleles are associated with immune-pathway genes, a finding consistent with the notion that autoimmune mechanisms are paramount in the development of clinical multiple sclerosis.