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One point that may be missed in some of the news reports describing these studies is that the variants that were associated with MS are very common in the general population. Also, the frequencies in the people with MS were not that much higher than in the controls. For instance, one of the papers (Gregory et al) reports that the IL7R variant associated with MS was found in 76-78% of the MS subjects vs. 72-73% of the control subjects. This is still a statistically significant difference, but not a large one in absolute terms.
Also, for those (such as us at Accelerated Cure Project) who are looking for the gene-gene and gene-environment interactions that are necessary in the development of MS, these results signify good starting points.
Several associations were found in the initial analysis (as you would expect given the large number of genes investigated), but the authors narrowed the field down further and highlighted two genes in particular (IL7RA and IL2RA).
Frank wrote:Did they maybe just go after genes that would fit the autoimmune hypothesis.
finn wrote:Frank wrote:Did they maybe just go after genes that would fit the autoimmune hypothesis.
Good question, Frank. IMO, the study setting seems to have been biased towards autoimmune theory. In any case, I personally don't think this study will make that much difference.
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