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What triggers MS? Researchers want to know.

Two new large-scale studies are recruiting people to investigate risk factors that trigger MS and to figure out how to end MS forever.

* Researchers from the Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Partners MS Center are recruiting 5,000 subjects who have at least one close relative with MS for the GEMS study (Genes and Environment in MS). The goal is to identify the genetic, environmental and immune profiles that may increase a person's risk of developing MS. GEMS is led by primary investigator Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, who is a Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar of the National MS Society.

* Investigators nationwide are recruiting 640 children with early relapsing-remitting MS or clinically isolated syndrome (a single episode of MS-like symptoms) and 1,280 children without MS for a four-year study to determine risk factors that make children susceptible to developing MS. The $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead investigator Emmanuelle Waubant, MD (University of California, San Francisco Pediatric MS Center), is based on pilot data collected by the Society's Pediatric Network of Centers of Excellence. Investigators specifically are looking at genes, Epstein-Barr and other common viruses, vitamin D levels, and exposure to cigarette smoking.

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Title Annotation:In the news and on our website
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 3, 2012
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