Research published in the journal Nature Genetics has identified 48 new genes that may play a part in susceptibility to MS.
In a large collaborative study, the genes of 14,498 people with MS of European descent were compared with 24,091 healthy controls. 48 new gene variants were identified which may increase the risk of having MS. This brings the total to about 110 gene variants which are located at 103 sites in the genome.
The genes identified in this study are known to be involved in autoimmune conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohns disease and celiac disease. This provides further evidence that MS is, at least in part, an autoimmune condition. Knowing which genes are involved in MS may help in the future prevention, treatment or cure of MS.
Although some genes make it more likely that someone gets MS, having these genes is definitely not enough on its own as other factors are needed to trigger MS.