After taking a fresh look at the data from two previous genome-wide scans for MS-related gene variations, the International MS Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) concluded that MS risk is governed by a cumulative effect of dozens of allelic variants throughout the genome, probably involving as many as 100 genes (N Engl J Med. 2007; 357(9):851-862; N Engl J Med. 2010; Apr 9;86(4):621-5. To see the full collection of published genome-wide MS studies, go to www.msgene.org.
The role of genetics in MS
As the role of genetics in MS continues to be explored, the following statements can be used to help frame conversations with patients about MS risk (Compston & Coles, 2008):
The risk of developing MS in the general population is approximately 0.1%.
The risk for a child with one parent who has MS is approximately 2%.
The risk for a child with two parents who have MS is approximately 12.2% (Ebers et al, 2000).
The risk for a dizygotic twin and other siblings is approximately 5%.