2011 proposal: environment is MS' main cause; genetics minor

A forum to discuss research on the origins of MS and its development.

2011 proposal: environment is MS' main cause; genetics minor

Postby jimmylegs » Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:32 am

The major cause of multiple sclerosis is environmental: genetics has a minor role - Yes (2011)
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10 ... 8511421105
Proposal
It is clear that multiple sclerosis (MS) has a complex aetiology that involves both genetic and environmental factors and that both make a significant contribution to causation. However, the weight of evidence would favour a significantly greater role for the environment over genetics. There is now ample evidence for a profound effect of the environment on MS causality, with at least four and probably more factors directly contributing, with the reported effect sizes significantly greater than any identified genetic factor.
    latitude, sunlight exposure (UVR), and vitamin D (odds ratio [OR] ≈ 20);1

    prior Epstein–Barr Virus (EBV) infection timing and adaptive immune response to EBV (OR = 12.5);2

    cigarette smoking (OR = 1.4);2

    the hygiene hypothesis (OR ≈ 3).3
...
Conclusions
The weight of evidence would support the assertion that the environment is more important than genetics in the causation of MS. Environmental factors may provide >75% of the risk of developing MS. Although genetic factors are important and may play a significant role in the development of MS in individuals not exposed to the discussed environmental factors, they are by no means the major driver of MS causation in the vast majority of MS cases.

a few possibilities missing from this proposal, to my way of thinking anyway :)
take control of your own health
pursue optimal self care at least as actively as a diagnosis
ask for referrals to preventive health care specialists eg dietitians
don't let suboptimal self care muddy any underlying diagnostic picture!
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Re: 2011 proposal: environment is MS' main cause; genetics m

Postby ElliotB » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:49 pm

Another great theory that makes as much sense as all the other theories that also make sense.


...that the environment is more important than genetics..

Perhaps scientists should carefully study the environments where there are zero cases of MS to get a better idea of what exactly is going on with their environments that protects these multiple population groups from getting MS and probably other illnesses. Surprised no one has done this yet. What are they waiting for?
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Re: 2011 proposal: environment is MS' main cause; genetics m

Postby frodo » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:28 am

If we consider Epstein-Barr virus as part of the environment, I think this statement is quite right.
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Re: 2011 proposal: environment is MS' main cause; genetics m

Postby ElliotB » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:22 am

Odd that they don't include diet/nutrition in the mix. To me, that would be a major factor unless they consider nutrition part of 'environment'.


An interesting comment, "the risk for siblings is 20–40 times the background population MS risk". To me this is very significant and contrary to commonly accepted thoughts on family risk.

An odd comment "It is important to note that there does not appear to be a genetically MS immune population" as this is absolutely not true. There are several population groups that have zero incidence of MS.
Last edited by ElliotB on Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 proposal: environment is MS' main cause; genetics m

Postby Petr75 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:05 am

Good article.
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