My biggest concern post-diagnosis was whether MS is inherited

During my first evaluation for multiple sclerosis (MS), I was asked if I had a family history of the disease. To my knowledge, I have not done so. Once I received my diagnosis, one of the first things that came to mind, after I got over the initial shock of the news, was: “Will my children have MS too?” ? I think this might be a common experience for parents with this condition.

I am not an anxious or worried person. I generally operate under the philosophy that the outcome will be the same whether you worry about it or not, so why waste time and energy worrying about something you have no control over?

But when it comes to my children, I admit that this question of whether they will also have MS has caused me anxiety and quickly rose to the top of my list of worries. .

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Is MS hereditary?

I always say that the genetic heritage has not been kind to me. In addition to MS, I have lived with psoriatic arthritis since I was a teenager. Unfortunately, I believe my son inherited psoriasis from me. So when I was asked if I had a family history of MS, I assumed that it was a highly hereditary disease and that my children were destined to develop it – hence the worry and anxiety.

Well, thank goodness my assumption was incorrect! I researched genetics and MS online and also spoke with my doctor, which calmed my anxiety. MS is not a hereditary disease, meaning it is not passed from parents to children in the same way as eye color.

Although a person’s genetic makeup can influence the risk of MS, there is not just one gene associated with multiple sclerosis. I was surprised to learn that there are at least 200 genes that may contribute to the development of MS. With so many genes potentially involved, it seems less likely that my children will carry all the variants that could contribute to the disease. I guess this is a case where MS being complex and complicated is a positive thing.

Additionally, genetics are not the only factor in determining whether or not my children will develop the disease. Environmental and lifestyle factors can also play a role, such as MS News Today Remarks.

Living in certain geographic regions can affect your risk of developing MS. This could be due to differences in sun exposure, which can affect vitamin D levels. Researchers have found that vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for MS.

A history of certain bacterial or viral diseases can increase the risk of developing the disease, as well as lifestyle factors such as smoking and obesity. My children’s exposure to these environmental and lifestyle factors has been very different from mine, and I hope that these differences will reduce their chances of contracting the disease.

Because I have MS, my children are estimated to have about a 1.5%, or 1 in 67, chance of developing it, while the risk in the general population is about 0.3%, or 1 person. out of 333. About 1 in 5 patients have MS. family history of the disease.

I wish the risk to my children was closer to that of the general population, but it is significantly lower than I initially thought, which is comforting. I haven’t removed this concern from my list of concerns, but it ranks much lower than before.

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to generate discussion about issues related to multiple sclerosis.

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