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Gene links could help in MS cures

Scientists have found 29 new genetic variants linked to multiplesclerosis and say the findings should help drugmakers focus treatmentresearch on precise areas of the immune system.

Scientists have found 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis and say the findings should help drugmakers focus treatment research on precise areas of the immune system.

In a study published in the journal Nature yesterday, researchers said the newly-found links point to the idea that T-cells and chemicals called interleukins play a key role in the development of the debilitating disease.

"It is now clear that multiple sclerosis is primarily an immunological disease,” said Alastair Compston of Cambridge University, who co-led the study.

Most people who develop MS experience their first symptoms in their 20s and 30s, but Compston and colleagues say the trigger for the disease could happen in early childhood when genetic risk factors coincide with some as yet unknown environmental factor.

 
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