Gene variant may increase severity of MS

August 2, 2010

A new study shows a gene variant may increase the severity of multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. The research will be published in the August 3, 2010, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, researchers screened the oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS1) gene in 401 people with MS, 394 people without MS and 178 people receiving the MS treatment beta interferon.

On the analysis of the OAS1 gene, 63 percent of people with MS had the AA genotype compared to 57 percent of people without MS. The GG genotype was found in 37 percent of people with MS compared to 43 percent of people without the disease.

While the OAS1 gene was weakly associated with disease susceptibility, the study found that people who had the AA genotype had earlier relapses and increased disease activity compared to those without the genotype.

"While we don't understand why some patients vary so widely in their disease activity, this genetic association may give us clues to help direct future research," said study author Margaret O'Brien, PhD, with St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

The study also found people who had the GG genotype had less disease activity and fewer relapses. "It's possible that the GG genotype may protect against increased disease activity in people with MS, but more research is needed," said O'Brien.

Explore further: Men and women equally transmit genetic risk of MS to their children

Related Stories

If MRI shows signs of MS, will the disease develop?

December 10, 2008

With more and more people having brain MRIs for various reasons, doctors are finding people whose scans show signs of multiple sclerosis (MS) even though they have no symptoms of the disease. A new study published in the ...

Young smokers increase risk for multiple sclerosis

February 23, 2009

People who start smoking before age 17 may increase their risk for developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.