The largest genetics-based study of multiple sclerosis ever conducted is casting significant doubt on a controversial theory that the disease is a vascular condition caused by blocked neck veins. The study identified more than two dozen new genetic variants common to people with MS and found the majority of genes involved are pivotal to the immune system.
While the discovery is important, the large number of genes implicated in MS also indicates how complex it is and how much more work remains to be done, said Amit Bar-Or, associate professor of neuroimmunology and director of the experimental therapeutics program at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital.
“It hasn’t made things any simpler. It’s made them more complicated,” he said. “We are several steps away from translating this to effective therapy but it’s an important step.