MS Genetics study for Orkney and Shetland Island residents

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MS Genetics study for Orkney and Shetland Island residents

Postby cheerleader » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:56 pm

"These islands have some of the highest rates of MS in the world and are less complex genetically than urban populations, which is an advantage for finding genes.
The two-year project aims to collect DNA samples from all willing patients and a set of controls, who do not have the disease.
A genome-wide scan will be performed using hundreds of thousands of DNA markers.
The data will then be analysed using homozygosity mapping, a powerful approach which depends on shared ancestry and which has recently successfully located new genes influencing the risk of autism.
Exploring the basic mechanisms underlying susceptibility to MS will increase our knowledge of the disease so that new means of diagnosis and treatment might be identified."

Anyone interested in taking part in the study can call 0131 651 1643 or email

There's a chart with countries and MS prevalance as part of the article. Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan have very low MS numbers. Interesting,

Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
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Postby RedSonja » Thu Jul 24, 2008 3:37 am

But don't get confused between number of people diagnosed with MS and number of people who have it.

To get a diagnosis for MS you need a doctor who is able to recognise it, a neuro he can refer you to, and all the infrastructure necessary to do the tests. Perhaps the reason for the low reported occurrence of MS in many countries is just that there is no one looking for it.

I had it for decades but didn't join the statistics until 2004.

Having said that, I am sure Germany is looking just as hard (probably harder, my GP was sooooo excited and the neuro was utterly delighted) as Sweden, so there must be something there.
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Postby dignan » Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:59 am

Thanks for that info AC. I find this stuff fascinating. I think there probably is a lot to be said for differing effectiveness of diagnosing MS in different countries' medical systems. But is that the whole story? Some countries that are fairly far north (Estonia, Poland etc) have lower rates than I would expect. The UK is higher than you might expect. Comparing Canada and Finland makes Finland look relatively low. What are the explanations?
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