More MS news articles for May 2001

Alberta Towns Lead The World In Rates For MS

Doctor Says Environmental Factors Not Just Genetics To Blame

CALGARY, 12:38 p.m. EDT May 19, 2001 -- Health officials are baffled.

Two southern Alberta towns have been identified as having among the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world.

A study shows the prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the Black Diamond and Turner Valley areas southwest of Calgary is 354 out of 100,000.

That compares with 313 out of 100,000 for Alberta and between 100 and 300 out of 100,000 in the United States.

Dr. David Swann of the Headwaters Health Authority says it's not all genetics -- there has to be some environmental factors involved as well.

But doctors don't know what those factors are.

Black Diamond resident Terry Reuser, who has MS, believes the link is the area's oil and gas production.

She subscribes to the theory that people who are already genetically disposed, develop MS after overexposure to chemicals and environmental pollution.

Copyright 2001 by The Canadian Press.