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.
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences