Red Hair

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Red Hair

Postby Terry » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:03 pm

Has anyone ever noticed how many people with MS have red hair? (I went on a freckles rant a while back, now I'm stuck on red hair)
In the general population, I read that 1-2% of people have red hair. I'm convinced that % is MUCH higher in those of us with MS. For those of you who do not have red hair, what about your parents, siblings, grandparents?
I can't find info on how many of us are redheads. I guess that has not been tracked.

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Postby gwa » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:09 pm

My hair is brunette and I have no freckles.

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Postby Terry » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:12 pm

What about your family, gwa?
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Postby cheerleader » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:53 pm

Hi Terry...
My husband had thick, auburn hair when we met. He's now salt and peppery. My son has his Dad's red hair and fair skin, and sometimes I worry about what else he has inherited...

Thanks to recent genetic studies, we know more about red-heads and mutations on the MCR1 gene.

http://genetics.suite101.com/article.cf ... re_to_stay

Scottish and Irish (Celts) folk have high MS incidence. So do the fair and freckled and red-headed. It is not 100% genetic correlation, so it is considered incidental. It has something to do with melanin and how skin processes sunlight into vitamin D. Redheads also have high basal cell and skin cancer levels. It's all connected to the MCR1 gene.

more questions!
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Terry » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:00 pm

Thank you Cheer!

It is not 100% genetic correlation


Does this mean they've taken into account the family members?

I've been comparing a world map of MS and a world map of skin color. Lots of similarities, but/and of course not 100%.

It just amazes me how many pics of people with MS are of redheads.

Has to be something there.

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Postby cheerleader » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:05 pm

hi Terry-
What I mean by the 100% correlation is that not all redheads have MS. I do not know if the MCR1 gene has ever been tested in MSers, or if any research has been done on this-
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby Nenu » Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:32 am

gwa wrote:My hair is brunette and I have no freckles.


Same here!
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Postby Loobie » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 am

Brown hair and no freckles here (and mostly no hair either, thought what's left is brown!)
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Postby MaggieMae » Thu Apr 24, 2008 5:16 am

My husband has M.S. His father was a red-head and so his his sister (who has M.S.) His father was Irish and English.
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Postby Terry » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:02 am

MCR1 was first described by the Edinburgh University dermatologist Jonathan Rees. As hair and skin colour work in tandem, Rees established that MCR1 is associated with a lightly pigmented skin - that is sometimes freckled - and red hair. The gene produces more pheomelanin chemicals, of the yellow and red variety.


There is some indication that a high level of pheomelanin goes hand in hand with more abundant hormones and what are known as neuropeptides, including adrenaline and dopamine. Adrenaline is needed for high-energy flight or flight responses and redheads may have elevated levels of these
.

Are multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis autoimmune disorders of endogenous vasoactive neuropeptides?Staines DR.
Gold Coast Public Health Unit, 10-12, Young Street, Southport 4215, Queensland, Australia. don_staines@health.qld.gov.au <don_staines@health.qld.gov.au>

Autoimmune dysfunction of endogenous vasoactive neuropeptides (VNs) such as vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) has been postulated as a cause for some fatigue-related conditions. VN receptors are class II G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) which couple primarily to the adenylate cyclase (AC)-cyclic AMP (cAMP) pathway and cAMP has a central role in neurological metabolism including influencing blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-spinal barrier (BSB) permeability, coordinating neuroregulatory pathways, and protecting against neuronal apoptosis. Complex clinical signs occur in multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While traditionally viewed as diseases of the motor system, the clinical picture of these conditions is considerably more complex. Disturbances of cognition and memory, as well as emotional lability occur along with fatigue and motor dysfunction. This paper explores the hypothesis that autoimmune dysfunction of VNs may contribute to MS and ALS. While MS and ALS differ in important respects, they have common pathogenic features including inflammation, oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Apoptotic mechanisms are associated with activation of caspase pathways and functional interplay between proinflammatory cytokines, interferon gamma and nitric oxide is suggested associated with oxidative stress and glial activation. Diseases such as MS and ALS may represent related conditions resulting from variation in expression of different receptor subtypes of the VN family. Anatomical differences of these receptors, perhaps in areas overly dependent on a specific VN receptor sub-type, may predispose to autoimmune susceptibility to these conditions, either in impaired expression of receptors or antibody and cellular immune targeting of them. Further studies are required to determine if such VN receptor sub-types of significant specificity exist and if they are susceptible to compromise. This hypothesis, if proven, may have implications for the development of treatment and preventive strategies.

PMID: 17582695 [PubMed - in process]
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Postby gwa » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:21 am

There are no redheads in my family as far as I know. We are all brunettes.

My particular background is German, Welsh, British and Dutch.

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Postby Rudi » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:35 am

Maybe red heads avoid the sun more due to their fair skin and therefore develop a vitamin d deficiency which increases their likelihood of developing ms.
1st traceable symptoms July 2006 - realized I had MS November 2006
CAP since 27/04/2007. Various supplements and dietary modifications.
Male 27 UK
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Postby ssmme » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:25 am

No redheads in my family. We are of German and Irish decent and freckles are there. We don't tan even if we spend all summer in the sun. Just the freckles get darker.
I agree with Rudi, it's probably the sun avoidance - I've avoided it for years. Freckles are cute on kids but they tend to look like age spots when you hit middle age. At least they do on me.

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Postby TwistedHelix » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:55 am

My hair has always been black, although it's now mostly grey, but in photographs my facial hair has always looked as if it's ginger as you can see from the pictures, (hint: one of them may not actually be me). I think this has parallels with the discussion recently about how genes can control seemingly unrelated areas, such as finger length and athletic ability,

Image

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Postby itsjustme » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:42 am

I have brown hair and brown eyes.

No freckles; just one beauty mark which now blends in with my age spots.

My parents were both from India, i.e. brown hair/brown eyes. However, I did have a maternal aunt named Ruby. I think she was named Ruby for her red hair.
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