It has long been known that stress increases the risk of MS and of developing relapses.

This new population-based case-control study from the Karolinska Institute examined many thousands of people with MS and compared their patterns of shift work while young with people without MS.

They found a 30-60% increased risk of MS for those who undertook shift work at a young age; for those doing significant amounts of shift work before age 20, there was roughly a doubling of risk.

The authors hypothesised that this may be due to sleep disruption causing changes in melatonin secretion and a shift towards a pro-inflammatory state.

While we can't avoid stress in our lives, it is useful to be aware of this increased risk when our relatives choose their early employment.

Click here to read the full study