Boston Cure Project
Since blood relatives of people with MS have an increased risk of developing MS compared with the general public, they make a potentially valuable study group for scientists searching for the early signs of MS. One research team in Sweden is comparing the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from healthy siblings and unrelated controls to look for notable differences. In a previous study they found that 19% of the siblings studied had oligoclonal bands in their CSF, which they called "MS immunopathic trait." Their latest analysis looked for markers (NFL and GFAp) of central nervous system damage in the CSF samples. Levels of these markers were increased in people with MS, but were similar in their healthy siblings compared with controls, even in those siblings with the immunopathic trait. This study indicates that siblings can have immunopathic trait without CNS damage. Hopefully additional studies will be conducted along these lines to further clarify the sequence of events leading to the development of MS.
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