Genetic Factors in Multiple Sclerosis

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the role of candidate genes in the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) and describe the role of T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements in the MS brain lesion in identifying a major target of the immune response in this disease.

DATA SOURCES

MEDLINE, bibliography review of published data, and unpublished studies.

DATA SYNTHESIS

Consistent with a polygenic model for disease predisposition, MHC and TCR gene associations with MS are relatively weak. Despite intensive research, no other putative "MS genes" have been firmly established. The analysis of TCR rearrangements in the brain lesion has helped to identify a major target of the immune response in MS.

CONCLUSION

Understanding the genetic basis for autoimmune demyelination will offer new possibilities for the treatment of this illness.

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