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Genetics and Genomics of Neuro-Psychiatric Diseases, II: Multiple Sclerosis 

Genetics and Genomics of Neuro-Psychiatric Diseases, II: Multiple Sclerosis
Chapter:
Genetics and Genomics of Neuro-Psychiatric Diseases, II: Multiple Sclerosis
Author(s):

Katharine Harding

and Neil Robertson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199896028.003.0032
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date: 30 October 2020

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is both an inflammatory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and the commonest non-traumatic cause of neurological disability in young adults in western Caucasian populations. Its aetiology is complex and incompletely understood, but related to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. A fundamental epidemiological characteristic of MS is familial recurrence which was recognised more than 100 years ago and provided an early indication of the importance of genetics to disease frequency, distribution and outcome. Subsequently an understanding of the genetic contribution to MS has proved valuable in patient counselling, understanding pathological mechanisms of disease, identifying novel therapeutic targets, and determining disease outcome. MS Genetic studies have also proved informative in unravelling environmental contributions to disease as well as the nature of potential gene-environment interactions. These combined factors may now offer the exciting future prospect of a more individualised approach to patient management and treatment.

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