Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Multiple Sclerosis Health Center

Font Size

MS That Runs in Families May Be Worse

Brain Damage From Multiple Sclerosis May Be More Severe in Patients With Family History of MS
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 12, 2007 -- Multiple sclerosis may cause more severe brain damage in patients who have a relative who had multiple sclerosis.

Researchers reported that news today in Prague, Czech Republic, at the 23rd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.

The scientists -- who work at the State University of New York at Buffalo -- included Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD.

They studied 759 MS patients, 26% of whom had a relative with multiple sclerosis. The patients got brain scans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Zivadinov and colleagues analyzed the patients' brain scans. The scientists noticed more severe brain damage in the brain scans of patients with a family history of MS, compared with those with no relatives with MS.

That pattern was stronger for MS patients with a parent or sibling who had MS, compared with patients who had a more distant relative with MS.

However, family history of multiple sclerosis wasn't linked to the degree of disability due to MS, the length of time the patients had had MS, or how their MS had progressed.

"This warrants further investigation," write Zivadinov and colleagues.

Today on WebMD

brain and teriflunomide molecule
neural fiber
white blood cells
linguini with asparagus and mushrooms
brain scan
worried woman
person writin in a notebook
couple embracing
man with cane
skull and neck xray
Stressed man
doctor feeling patients neck

WebMD Special Sections