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Rare Genetic Mutation May Explain Some Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

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Charlie Warren
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There is no cure for MS, though treatments exists to manage symptoms and help speed recovery from attacks called remissions .

Eventually, most people with this form of the disease will move on to a secondary progressive phase of MS in which symptoms begin a steady march and become increasingly severe.

M signifies individuals with the mutation; black circles represent individuals with MS and age of disease onset; gray circles or squares denote individuals with the mutation whose health is unknown.

In the two families studied, two-thirds of the patients with the mutation developed the progressive form of the disease.

Some evidence even suggests that Vitamin D and smoking plays an important role.

Lastly, this research could offer clues about the more common relapsing-remitting form of the disease, while also pointing to the possibility of using personalized medicine to treat MS. As Michelle Apperson from the University of California, Davis, pointed out, In the future, we may be able to look at a patient s genetic profile or other biomarkers and choose a medication that best fits that individual.

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Charlie Warren
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