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More MS news articles for February 2004

Concordance for disease course and age of onset in Scandinavian multiple sclerosis coaffected sib pairs

Mult Scler. 2004 Feb;10(1):5-8
Oturai AB, Ryder LP, Fredrikson S, Myhr KM, Celius EG, Harbo HF, Andersen O, Akesson E, Hillert J, Madsen HO, Nyland H, Spurkland A, Datta P, Svejgaard A, Sorensen PS.
Department of Neurology, Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark


Investigation of coaffected sib pairs is one method to determine the genetic influence on the clinical presentation of many complex diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

Investigation of the clinical concordance in coaffected sib pairs may be a prerequisite to identify genes that modify the clinical outcome.

The aim of this study was to investigate a possible genetic influence on selected demographic and clinical variables among familial Scandinavian MS cases.


We identified 136 Caucasian Scandinavian families with MS coaffected sib pairs from Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Cohen's kappa coefficient and the intraclass correlation coefficient were used to assess concordances in sib pairs.

Furthermore, clinical features and HLA-DR2 carrier status were compared among the probands of sib pairs.


We found significant concordance of the disease course (kappa = 0.28, P < 0.001) and adjusted age of onset (r = 0.23, P = 0.028).

Among probands of sib pairs, HLA-DR2 carrier patients had a younger age of onset (P = 0.024).


Analyses of Scandinavian coaffected sib pairs suggest that disease course and age of onset are partly under genetic control.

Furthermore, HLA-DR2 in probands of sib pairs suggests importance for age of onset.