Multiple Sclerosis study expected to soon start producing ‘powerful results’

A landmark study which seeks to identify our risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and how we might respond to treatment has recruited 2,000 patients and is at the point where it should soon start producing “powerful results”.

That’s according to consultant neurologist Brian Sweeney, who is overseeing the clinical side of the study at Cork University Hospital (CUH), one of a number of Irish sites taking part in the most comprehensive genomic study of MS ever undertaken on the island of Ireland.

“We need 2,000 patients to start getting good data and we are getting there now. The geneticists have done interim analysis of different samples and are getting to the point where we should start getting powerful results,” Dr Sweeney said.

He said they know the genes linked to MS are those that control the immune system, but they don’t know exactly how many such genes are involved.

“Each of us has approximately 21,000 genes in our genome and some of us have risk genes for MS. We are looking at all of the patterns found in DNA and we are hoping the study will help us identify which genes contribute to the overall risk. The DNA code has billions of combinations within each of us and that is why large numbers of people are required to look for those ‘needles in the haystack’.

Read full article at the Irish Examiner: