Birth order and MS

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Birth order and MS

Postby scoobyjude » Sun Nov 04, 2007 7:49 pm

Just an FYI-I am the youngest and my older brothers do not have MS. Wondering where others fall in the birth chain.


A new Canadian study suggests that the youngest children in a family are not less likely than older siblings to develop multiple sclerosis (MS).
This is contrary to the “hygiene hypothesis” whereby being too clean is not a good thing.

According to this theory, infections at an early age train the immune system to respond appropriately to the environment, and this supposedly protects children from certain diseases such as asthma and MS, so having older brothers and sisters should raise the odds of such infections, and therefore reduce the risk of MS.

In order to explore this hypothesis, Dr. A. Dessa Sadovnick, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues analyzed data from 10,995 MS patients and 26,336 healthy siblings drawn from a large population-based registry.

The researchers found that late birth order did not cut the risk of MS, and in fact, in large families with only one affected sibling, there was some evidence that late birth order actually raised the risk, as affected siblings were slightly younger than unaffected siblings.

The team concluded that their study does not support the prediction of the hygiene hypothesis.

Published in Lancet Neurology, online August 22, 2005.

http://www.lancetneuronet.com/
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Postby Lyon » Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:04 pm

Good find Judie! I hadn't seen that and I'll have to read it.

Hygiene hypothesis convert here admitting that his wife with MS is the youngest of eight!

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Postby scoobyjude » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:50 pm

Interesting. Technically I'm the youngest of 5 but twins didn't make it. The other woman I know with MS is either the youngest or second youngest I believe.
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Postby Terry » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:20 pm

I am the youngest. I have one older sibling.
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Birth order

Postby lyndacarol » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:15 am

I am the oldest of four. No siblings with autoimmune disease; however, biological father has MS, as does one of his nieces.
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Postby Lyon » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:08 am

Without going into one of my long, boring posts I can only say that this birth order paper has no significant impact on the validity of the hygiene hypothesis, other than to bolster its believability.

Separate from the hygiene hypothesis, you hit on two interesting subjects Lynda, both of which, as I've noticed from researching this hygiene hypothesis article, George Ebers has been involved in. MS birth order AND familial MS.

I've always had great respect for Dr Kurtzke because I was convinced that he was the only researcher who has never given up the search for the cause of MS and we'll never truly understand the mechanisms until we know the cause.

Now that I view Dr Eber's career a little more closely it seems that, although he isn't spending his time accumulating incidence data, he is involved in analyzing existing incidence data from a multitude of directions, specifically to determine the cause of MS. It would be hard not to respect his efforts.

Type "Ebers GC" into pubmed and you'll quickly notice studies involving the above subjects AND female preponderance, MS resistance, etc...

What that also seems to show is lack of commitment to any certain theory(s), which is a great thing. With the current foundation of long term misconception driving MS "truisms", or "generally accepted "truths" of MS, it's going to be impossible to leave that behind and advance MS knowledge without an open mind.

Plus, he's an interesting and amusing speaker :lol:

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