There have been many "clusters." Here are just two that were posted on ThisIsMS long ago:jerrygallow wrote:And then the cluster ideas. One account in Canada had 14 cases of people who lived on the same street. That's not genetic. I'm sorry. But the cluster gets discredited. Instead of looking for a cause, it seems they look for reasons not be suspicious. It's kind of like trying to solve a crime by explaining why a suspect probably didn't do it. It makes no sense to me. The author noted that every practicing neurologist can tell you similar cluster stories, yet they remain "unproven". I know that my next door neighbor growing up now has MS, and we were diagnosed the same year with the same symptom.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?ter ... A+11777019
http://www.thisisms.com/forum/general-d ... Paw#p14784Arch Environ Health. 2002 Jul-Aug;57(4):383; author reply 383.
A multiple sclerosis cluster associated with a small, north-central Illinois community.
Schiffer RB, McDermott MP, Copley C.
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center,
Lubbock 79430, USA. email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
The authors investigated a reported incidence cluster of multiple sclerosis (MS) cases in a small, north-central Illinois community to determine validity and statistical significance. DePue, Illinois--a small, north-central Illinois community--has previously been the site of significant environmental heavy-metal exposure from a zinc smelter. Significant contamination of soil and water with zinc and other metals has been documented in this community during the time period of interest. In the mid-1990s, several cases of MS were reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health within the geographic limits of this community. Available medical records from purported MS cases reported to the Illinois Department of Public Health were reviewed, and living individuals were seen and examined. Statistical analyses were conducted with clinically definite MS cases; onset dates were determined by first symptom, and expected incidence rates were determined from published epidemiologic studies. Nine new cases of clinically definite MS occurred among residents of DePue, Illinois, during the period between 1971 and 1990. Seven of the 8 living subjects included in the final analyses were examined by one author (RS). The computed incidence rate deriving from these cases within DePue Township, Illinois, represented a statistically significant excess of new MS cases over expected. During the period from 1971 through 1990, a significant excess of MS cases occurred within the population of DePue, Illinois. Significant exposure of this population to mitogenic trace metals, including zinc, was also documented during this time period.
PMID: 11777019 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Posted April 27, 2006:
I have before me an article from the Chicago Tribune, January 5, 2003. It tells about an epidemiological study planned (It must be done by now, though I have not seen the outcome.) for PawPaw, Illinois (tiny agricultural town of 850 near Rockford) where Harold Ikeler's family has been targeted by MS--his wife died of it, all three of his daughters have it, and five grandchildren have it! At the time of the article and for the study, a resident had tracked down 14 current and former residents with the disease. (Kind of shoots the usual estimates of one case for every 1,000 people, doesn't it?)