We know that ~200 different genetic variants increase an individual’s risk for developing MS, but these genetic variants aren’t destiny: each variant only increases risk by a small fraction. We need to learn how these genetic variants mediate MS risk to truly understand the disease. It’s a complicated story that requires the work of some powerful statistical modeling. Statistical analysis by our collaborators Dr. Farren Briggs and Dr. Yanina Natanzon has recently revealed possible relationships between genetic risk variants for MS and metabolite levels and gene expression in the blood of MURDOCK-MS study participants. This work has the potential to provide insights into how genetic variants increase risk for developing MS and to yield diagnostic and prognostic signatures.
Cover photo credit: the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences