Although I have not been a strong believer in a genetic component for MS, lately my opinions have been changing. Most recently I have read the book, The Blue Zones
by Dan Buettner, in which he writes on page 32:
"This M26 genetic marker is found in 35 percent of the Sardinians today, and is very rare elsewhere," ..., the people of Sardinia remain genetically distinct from the rest of Europe. Some of their unique traits are negative, such as higher incidence of type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis. But others are positive, such as resistance to malaria and high longevity rates, especially among males.
About my own genetics, I know only that in my high school biology class (studying genetic traits) all of us students chewed a piece of specially treated paper, which would identify those students who carried the dominant gene allowing them to taste the bitter flavor of PTC (phenylthiocarbamide), and those who could not (I was in this group). According to my reading I have learned that this sensitivity to this kind of taste is due almost entirely to a single gene.
Now I am curious to know if Sardinians with MS have the G version of the TAS2R38 gene, which is dominant and allows bitter taste perception. For that matter, I wonder if anyone else here knows which form of this gene he possesses.
Or does anyone know how to interest Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States in investigating this?