I think MS is hereditary. Anyone else?

Why do we see so many people say I have MS, my sister has MS, my cousin has MS if they claim it’s not hereditary? As a result, I’m scared to have children as my husband has been diagnosed with it.

like many other things, it is due to genetic predisposition and environmental factors.

many other illnesses are due to the same.

if you have close relatives with ms then your genetic predisposition will make it more likely.

if you have low Vitamin D levels then this environmental factor won’t help matters.

the more i read about it, the more i believe that the answers will be very basic.

my aunt had it in the 60’s but thankfully my sons haven’t.

every life choice is a lottery.

there are and have always been lots of awful diseases that can affect babies/children.

what it boils down to is how much you want children.

how is your husband coping?

is he eager to start a family?

really you need to talk it over with your husband and doctor and calm down.

MS is not hereditary.

Like all autoimmune diseases, it is caused by a variety of factors, one of which is genetic. But it is also due to your environment, this includes your geographic location, interaction with certain viruses, your vitamin levels, plus a whole load of other factors, many of which remain unknown.

Have a look at

Having MS is certainly something that you may want to keep in mind when making the decision to have children or not. But it shouldn’t be the deal breaker. You and your husband should perhaps discuss it and make the decision together.


I think most of us with a close family member with m.s. believe there to be a genetic component to our m.s. It may be that there is a recessive gene or it takes both parents to be carriers of a gene - compare cystic fibrosis. It may be that the inability to reproduce myelin successfully is something that ‘runs in families’ (as you’ll gather I know very little about genetic terminology but hope you know what I’m getting at!) I think the whole thing about the environment means nothing - it’s one of those statements trotted out the accuracy of which you can’t prove either way. What surprises me is that when two close relatives develop m.s. you would expect some genetic testing to take place, but that doesn’t happen. It wouldn’t be particularly expensive yet it’s not happening. As for the OP - in twenty years there will surely be a treatment that works should your child ever develop m.s. Of course the other consideration is the financial one - m.s. may mean reduced hours, loss of job and reduced pay etc. But many of us had children before m.s. reared it’s ugly head and like other parents who had other problems we sort of muddled through. If you are planning on starting a family I’d say the sooner you get on with it the better.

MS is not hereditary as it can’t be directly passed on.But it is classed as familial which means more than one member in a family could have it.I know of a family where quite a few of them have it.

As I understand it, MS isn’t hereditary but you can inherit a predisposition for autoimmune disorders. My father had rheumatoid arthritis, my mother believed she had benign MS. (She never had a formal diagnosis for a variety of reasons.) If getting MS, or any other autoimmune disorder, was purely genetic then you’d expect both my sister and I to have it. I have MS, my sister is completely healthy as far as we know. So go ahead and have children. They may never have MS. Even if they do get it, who knows what treatments will be available in the future. There may even be a cure.

I have 5 siblings. my outer family is huge. I am as far as I know at the moment including lots of offsprings the only one with MS. However, there are a few females with thyroid, my dad had lupus and my nan and grandad had RA, my grandad had parkinsons. (we dont know his lineage). My mums family italian only one has chrons, several females including myself had endometriosis which is auto immune. both my daughters had it. Its a lottery. my sister had double masectomy. the only other person in our huge family who had cancer was my uncle in italy who had breast cancer also many moons ago. Have your children, no one can predict the future and there are new treatments now for it. There are worse things to inherit.

I wonder if there is a familial m.s. and one that’s not. Some people develop m.s. ‘out of the blue’ whilst others have inherited a disposition to getting it/

Think of genetic predisposition as like baking a cake: It isn’t the ingredients used, nor the way they’re mixed and not even the baking of them; it’s them all working together that makes the final cake what it is. Change the ingredients and you change the the type of cake you end up with or whether you even have a cake at all; change the way they’re mixed and you’ll change the consistency and outcome of the cake; change the way you bake them and you may not end up with any cake. Is it the ingredients that make it a Dundee cake? Partly. Is MS due to an inherited disposition? Partly.

Good analogy PJ.