Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Multiple Sclerosis parenting nature vs nurture

With Mother’s Day approaching what family with a parent with Multiple Sclerosis has not reflected at one time or another on MS and genetics?

“An incredibly important negative” on the role of genetics in the nature vs nurture and Multiple Sclerosis debate may not be the most conventional Mother’s Day gift but “Thank You”” to Nature (international weekly journal of science) and its recently published study of identical twins with the same genetic risks for developing Multiple Sclerosis, yet one does and one does not. 

“genetic factors seem to have been insufficient to cause disease on their own … although both twins had the same predisposition for the disease one was exposed to the perfect combination of environmental triggers”

What triggers? Well, The Multiple Sclerosis Resource Center of Essex, UK offers one of the most extensive collections of articles on environmental (nurture) factors, 
Environmental Factors And MS Research including studies related to smoking, gender, vitamin D, geography, climate, MS population clusters, Persian Gulf War, barium, and medical employment.

In our two decades of living with Multiple Sclerosis as a family, theories about causes ebb and flow. You cannot get too worked up about any one study or alleged breakthrough.

Yet as parents … genetics is one boogeyman you can never quite banish back under the bed. “An incredibly important negative” IS welcome any time.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site: http://caregivinglyyours.com/ 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting paper, Patrick. I remember reading about twin studies as a grad student. It never occurred to me I'd have a personal interest in the results. Thanks.

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