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Researchers say women with multiple sclerosis have more HLA genes than men

March 16, 2016

"Our findings also show women with the HLA gene variant are more likely to transmit the gene variant to other women in their families than to men," said study author George C. Ebers, MD, FMedSCi, of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.

The researchers also determined that second-degree relatives such as aunts and their nieces or nephews were more likely to inherit the gene variant than first-degree relatives such as siblings or parents and children.

"It appears that the less the genetic sharing between individuals, the higher the interaction is between female sex and inheritance of the HLA gene variant," said Orhun Kantarci, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, who wrote an editorial on the study. "These findings pave the way for future studies of these genes, hopefully to advance our understanding of inheritance of complex diseases such as MS."

The study was supported by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of the United Kingdom.

Source: The American Academy of Neurology