This study involved an investigation of 444 children of an MS-affected father or mother from 3,598 individuals in 206 families to compare the transmission of MS between affected men and women. The findings by researchers from Mayo Clinic, the University of California at San Francisco, the University of California at Berkeley and Kaiser Permanente will be published in the July 25 issue of the journal Neurology.
"Fathers with MS tend to have more children who develop MS than do mothers with the disease," says Brian Weinshenker, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and study investigator. "When we looked at a large population of MS patients, when there was a parent and a child who had MS in a family, the child with MS got the disease twice as often from the father rather than the mother."
MS affects approximately 1 in 1,000 people, and it is twice as common in women as in men. In 85 percent of cases, no cause is known. For 15 percent of MS patients, a family member within a generation also is affected by the disease. For familial cases, no single gene has been identified that strongly predisposes a person to MS.
"Rather, a combination of genes and unknown environmental factors work together to cause multiple sclerosis," says Orhun Kantarci, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and lead author of the paper.
The researchers theorize that men may have a greater "genetic load" of MS genes, which may explain their findings.
"The hypothesis of the study is that men are more resistant to MS, so they need stronger or a larger number of genes in order to develop MS, and then pass these genes to their children," says Dr. Kantarci.
He also explains that the overtransmission of MS by men in the study is not easily explained by hormonal differences between men and women or by genes on the sex chromosomes.
The findings shouldn't change how men with MS are counseled about the risk to their offspring, say the researchers. The risk of having MS if a person has an affected parent is increased by about 20-fold compared to not having an affected parent; the additional risk by virtue of having an affected father is not sufficient to change patient counseling practices, says Dr. Kantarci.
"The overtransmission by men is primarily of interest to scientists studying the mechanisms of genetic transmission of MS susceptibility," said Dr. Kantarci, "and may indicate that nontraditional, or so-called epigenetic factors, play some role in the transmission of MS."
The investigators also indicate that their findings should be confirmed in another study by other researchers to be widely accepted.
No intervention prevents men from passing on MS, say the researchers, who indicate the necessity for MS researchers to identify the reason for this overtransmission by men, including finding genes predisposing to the "parent-of-origin" effect observed in this study.
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
26.10.2016 | Materials Sciences
26.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
26.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy