MS and ALS share the name sclerosis but the genetics may not be common

Goris A, van Setten J, Diekstra F, Ripke S, Patsopoulos NA, Sawcer SJ; The International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium, van Es M; The Australia and New Zealand MS Genetics Consortium, Andersen PM, Melki J, Meininger V, Hardiman O, Landers JE, Brown R Jr, Shatunov A, Leigh N, Al-Chalabi A, Shaw CE, Traynor BJ, Chiò A, Restagno G, Mora G, Ophoff RA, Oksenberg JR, Van Damme P, Compston A, Robberecht W, Dubois B, van den Berg LH, De Jager PL, Veldink JH, de Bakker PI. No evidence for shared genetic basis of common variants in multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Nov 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful in identifying common variants that influence the susceptibility to complex diseases. From these studies it has emerged that there is substantial overlap in susceptibility loci between diseases. In line with those findings, we hypothesized that shared genetic pathways may exist between multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While both diseases may have inflammatory and neurodegenerative features, epidemiological studies have indicated an increased co-occurrence within individuals and families. To this purpose, we combined genome-wide data from 4,088 MS patients, 3,762 ALS patients, and 12,030 healthy control individuals in whom 5,440,446 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were successfully genotyped or imputed. We tested these SNPs for excess association shared between MS and ALS, and also explored if polygenic models of SNPs below genome-wide significance could explain some of the observed trait variance between diseases. Genome-wide association meta-analysis of single SNPs as well as polygenic analyses fail to provide evidence in favor of an overlap in genetic susceptibility between MS and ALS. Hence, our findings do not support a shared genetic background of common risk variants in MS and ALS.

So no link between MS and ALS (Lou gehrigs Disease), is that surprising. ne wonders if there are similar disease processes occurring someone where in the process.

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