A number this site have close relatives who have m.s.

Does that suggest there is a genetic component to m.s?

I know little about genetics but with some conditions like cystic fibrosis it takes a ‘rogue’ gene from both parents for a child to have the condition - and not all the children will have c.f.

If m.s. is cause by recessive genes or mutations does it mean DMDs are of no use because they would have no impact on the ‘rogue’ gene(s)

I’m absolutely convinced that MS is genetically linked, I would even argue that perhaps hereditary.

My mother who passed away 3 years ago was always struggling with poor balance, dizziness, numbness and poor coordination, but it was usually put down to vertigo.

Being a bit of an “old school” woman she just usually waited for things to pass and just got on with life.

MS and MRI’s were not a known thing when I was growing up and she was ill, even today there are GP’s who haven’t a clue how to recognise symptoms of MS and would put it right at the end of their list of possible illnesses.

When I first started showing real signs that something was wrong, my GP at the time was insistent that I had a trapped nerve in my neck, it was until I convinced another GP at the same practice, by telling her about my sisters MS that I was sent for tests, even though I had mentioned this to the first GP !

My mothers brothers youngest daughter, (my first cousin), was the first in our family to be diagnosed with MS which was about 18 years ago, then about 15 years ago my sister was diagnosed, and myself about 5 years ago, although if I think back I can clearly remember odd symptoms like numbness and tingling many many years ago, just like my mother had done for years.

Now recently, my other first cousin, the sister of the first one diagnosed, is under tests for MS as she’s been showing worrying symptoms on and off a few months ago, as yet nothing is confirmed.

Theres a colleague at work with me who has a friend, who has MS along with her own mother.

I’ve recently been seeing a works councillor who was brought in to see how I cope with having MS and working.

It tuned out that this lady has MS, hence the reason why my company called her in to chat with me, it also turns out that both her sisters have MS.

Is there a genetic or hereditary link ?

You can bet your life there is !

thanks jactac Is anyone actually doing genetic testing on the families where there is more than one member with m.s.? And if a genetic link was proved would that mean that DMD’s are of no use - (a scary thought for the drug companies!!!)

Well, I went to my newly diagnosed day last Thursday and this came up. Apparently they reckon ms is between 30 to 50% genetic. They have found ,I think she said ,100+ Genes with links to ms. Ms is not classed as an inherited condition, but you have a slightly higher chance of getting ms if you have relatives with ms. I think the MS Trust has some info on it. I seem to recall that Sue also posted something about this recently when answering someone’s post . I will have to write a new post about what I learnt on the day, although to be honest I think most of it is covered on the ms society or ms trust website.

Well there are two relevant pages from the MS Trust, this is the first: Is MS hereditary or not? | MS Trust And the second: Risk of developing MS | MS Trust I should think that all the risk information is ‘averaged’. Which is why you can have families like yours, jactac, who seem plagued with MS. And from whom it’s possible to assume the genetic component is more relevant. Then there are families like mine. I am the first and only person to have MS in my family (as far as I know). But the family has all kinds of autoimmune conditions. So it might be possible to argue that autoimmunity as a whole might have a genetic component. But, MS cannot be considered as an inherited condition, because it is not directly passed from one generation to the next. Even identical twins are not guaranteed to both have MS. It’s a lot more likely than between siblings or non identical twins, but only a one in 5 chance that both will have it. Still, an interesting question. And one that has come up again and again. And will continue to do so I am sure. Sue

When I went for my last blood test (I have one every 3 months) I was asked if I would let them have some extra for a research project being carried out …

“This study is designed to try and identify the genetic factors that are important in MS. Some of these factors influence how likely an individual is to develop the disease, while others influence how the disease will affect them or how they will respond to treatment. By identifying these genes there will a valuable insight into the disease, bringing closer effective treatments and preventative measures.”

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Yes UHW in Wales do this as well. I think all extra blood, csf goes in the tissue bank for research.

if the medics are now identifying genes linked to m.s. then this may become a means of diagnosing m.s.??

The familial aspects of MS risk are fairly well understood and quantified: this link to the main part of this site gives the basics and links through to more detailed information for those interested.


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my mum’s sister had ms back in the sixties when there was little knowledge and no treatment.

my dad’s sister has RA which has been brutal to her.

my sister has psoriasis.

so i do seem to come from a family with a range of auto immune conditions.

i don’t want to believe that ms is hereditary because i absolutely do not want my sons to develop it.