MSAA puts out a quarterly publication called The Motivator that generally has some pretty good information… lots of research and other tidbits that are supposed to help us live a bit easier with this MS beast…. I haven’t spent much time reading the two publications I’ve received yet….
Until this afternoon… I had to spend some time on thy royal throne and took the current issue with me….
In the winter/spring 2011 issue there is an article called “Family Genes & MS: Just One Piece of the Puzzle” by A. Dessa Sadovnick, PhD
For the lay person this article is pretty technical, but she does offer many definitions of terms that are important. And what I discovered is that I was destined to have MS…. yes, destined… it was written in my cards… let me show you how….
To start, the one area that worked in my favor is that there are no other people in my family with MS… direct blood relatives (parent, children, and siblings) are at a slightly higher recurrence risk – 3% to 5%… but that doesn’t apply to me…. it does apply to kiddo though… (little girl, start taking your vitamin D!)
Next is latitude… those living farther away from the equator have a high incident rate than those living closer to the equator… because of where I live my rate increased dramatically…
Gender…this is a big one… we all know that women tend to get MS more than men… Women born between 1931 and 1980 had a ratio increasing from 1.9 (2x that of men) to 3.2 (MORE THAN 3X THAT OF MEN)…
Hygiene hypothesis – I hadn’t heard of this one before… but children who are exposed to infections earlier in life have a lower rate of developing autoimmune illness than others… so all those childhood vaccinations screw us to some degree… and they say that first born children have a higher rate since later children are exposed to infection from older siblings…. then the big disclaimer is that there isn’t enough info to claim birth order as a true factor…
Other factors listed here are the age of menarche onset, adolescent obesity and occupational influences…. age-related MS drops off at around 50 years of age or so…. ok so early menarche? Yep…. occupational influence? Yep… night shift worker = lack of sun = lack of vitamin D
Smoking… yes, I smoke… dammit…. increases by 50% over those that never smoked….