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57 Genes Now Linked to MS

Majority of the New Genes Linked to Immune System, Pointing to Disease Origins, Researchers Say

Genes Linked to MS: Perspective

The findings are big news for the MS community, says Timothy Coetzee, PhD, chief research officer for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He reviewed the study findings for WebMD but was not involved in the study.

"What they have been able to do is create one of the best genetic maps possible for the genetic influences involved in MS," he tells WebMD.

As research about the genetics of MS progresses, it is expected to help personalize treatment, he says.

"A molecular map will allow researchers to begin identifying new targets for researching drug development," he says.

Eventually, he says, a doctor may use a patient's genetic profile to predict the course of the disease and to prescribe treatment. The course of MS can vary a lot between patients. Sometimes symptoms disappear in some people with MS, while others have symptoms constantly.

Treatment options include medicines that slow or modify the underlying course of the disease.

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