Is MS genetic?

There is a genetic element to MS. If a close relative of yours (father, mother or sibling) has MS, this does not mean that you will develop MS, but you are at an increased risk. Research has found that close relatives of people with MS are 30-40 times more likely than the general population to develop the disease.

Children of someone with MS are at much higher risk – about 1 in 10 – of developing the disease themselves. However, as multiple sclerosis is not linked to one specific gene, there is no definitive way of calculating one child’s chances of inheriting MS. Lifestyle changes such as vitamin D supplementation and a diet low in saturated fat may reduce the risk of a child developing multiple sclerosis in later life.

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