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Genetic vs. Environmental Risk Factors for MS

Genetics

In addition to an autoimmune process linked to an environmental trigger, increasing scientific evidence suggests that genetics may play a role in determining a person's susceptibility to multiple sclerosis. Some populations, such as Gypsies, Eskimos, and Bantus, never get multiple sclerosis. Native Indians of North and South America, the Japanese, and other Asian populations have very low multiple sclerosis rates. It is unclear whether this is due mostly to genetic or environmental factors.
 
In the population at large, the chance of developing multiple sclerosis is less than a tenth of 1 percent. However, if one person in a family has multiple sclerosis, that person's first-degree relatives -- parents, children, and siblings -- have a 1 percent to 3 percent chance of getting the disease.
 
Know the Signs - Concussion Safety

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