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Causes, Risk Factors and Genetics

No one is sure what causes Multiple Sclerosis. Some researchers believe Multiple Sclerosis could be caused by an autoimmune disease. When you get sick, your body’s immune system attacks the germs that make you sick. With an autoimmune disease, your body’s immune system is broken and attacks your healthy body. Other researchers believe that Multiple Sclerosis is caused by an infection from a virus. There is no convincing evidence to support this theory though. Another theory for what could cause Multiple Sclerosis is the environment. Some researchers have found that people who live in colder areas (such as northern America and Northern Europe) are five times more likely to have Multiple Sclerosis than people who live in warmer areas (such as central Africa). Researchers have also found that people who had ample amounts of Vitamin D as children (before the age of 15) had a decreased risk of Multiple Sclerosis. It is also possible that Multiple Sclerosis is genetic. Research has shown that a person is more likely to have Multiple Sclerosis if one of their relatives has it.  Also, research studies on twins have shown that identical twins are more likely to both have Multiple Sclerosis then fraternal twins. Additional resources that provide information on the causes and risk factors for Multiple Sclerosis: Who gets MS? (Multiple Sclerosis Association of America) What causes it? (DrugDigest) What are the Risk Factors? (DrugDigest) What causes MS? (National Multiple Sclerosis Society) Multiple Sclerosis: Risk Factors (Mayo Clinic) Additional resources that provide more information on genetics and Multiple Sclerosis: Multiple Sclerosis: Hope Through Research – Genetics (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Genetics and Multiple Sclerosis (Duke Center for Human Genetics) Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis (American Medical Association) Multiple Sclerosis – Causes – Genetic Factors (University of Maryland Medical Center)