Genetics

Susceptibility to multiple sclerosis follows a complex pattern with a clear genetic component, evidenced primarily by the relatively high recurrence risk in family members of affected individuals, and the frequent occurrence of MS in some ethnic populations, particularly those of north European origin. Since 1996, more than 15 family-based linkage and population-based genome wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted in MS. Our lab is a member of the International MS genetics consortium (IMSGC), which recently conducted the largest of these studies, including close to 10,000 cases and 10,000 controls. These studies generated a wealth of data amenable for further mining using modern bioinformatics, including advanced statistics, pattern recognition, and artificial intelligence methodologies.