Nordic researchers detect MS gene

14.08.2007
A group of 15 Nordic researchers has detected a gene that can improve treatment of the nerve system disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The discovery gives researchers a broader understanding of the underlying mechanisms of MS and may contribute to the development of more efficient medication for MS patients.
“We are very happy about this breakthrough, it’s been a long and frustrating process”, says Jan Hillert, Professor in Neurology at Karolinska institutet, Stockholm. The research group discovered the gene IL7R already two years ago, and assumed that it was connected to the development of MS. Since then the researchers have collected evidence in order to support this thesis.

The Nordic research team has analyzed the genes from 3000 MS patients in the hunt for the “missing link” that contributes to the development of MS. According to Hillert, the large number of tests was decisive for the successful result. “This is an important step forward for us, and now we know the procedure for identifying genes. The next challenge is to find out why this gene involves an MS risk, and then try to find more genes”, Hillert says.

(Dagens Nyheter, 20070729)

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