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Epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis: A Critical Overview

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2015

A.D. Sadovnick*
Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, University Hospital-UBC Site (A.D.S.) and Department of Medical Genetics (A.D.S.). University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, University Hospital (G.C.E.) and the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences (G.C.E.). University of Western Ontario, London
G.C. Ebers
Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, University Hospital-UBC Site (A.D.S.) and Department of Medical Genetics (A.D.S.). University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, University Hospital (G.C.E.) and the Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences (G.C.E.). University of Western Ontario, London
Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia. #226-6174 University Blvd., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6T 1Z3
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The decisive conclusions to be drawn from the available epidemiological data, mostly geography and prevalence, of MS are: (1) a north-south (as well as west-east in the United States) gradient exists independent of genetic/racial factors; (2) major differences in prevalence occur in the absence of latitude differences; (3) individuals from the same ethnic derivation have either similar prevalence rates or very different prevalence rates in widely separated geographical areas and (4) specific resistant isolates are shown to exist regardless of latitude. Existing information leads to the almost inescapable conclusion that the epidemiology of MS cannot be explained by any single known environmental or genetic factor(s) in isolation. A combination of a heterogeneous distribution of both genetic and environmental factors appears to be required to explain the available data on MS.

Research Article
Copyright © Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation 1993


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