Article Text


British Isles survey of multiple sclerosis in twins: MRI.
  1. J W Thorpe,
  2. C J Mumford,
  3. D A Compston,
  4. B E Kendall,
  5. D G MacManus,
  6. W I McDonald,
  7. D H Miller
  1. Multiple Sclerosis NMR Research Group, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.


    64/105 subjects who have a twin with multiple sclerosis included in a study of clinical concordance also underwent MRI of the brain. 8/23 monozygotic and 1/41 dizygotic co-twins from this subgroup were clinically concordant of whom 8/9 had MRI appearances typical of multiple sclerosis. Of the 48 clinically discordant twins aged less than 60, abnormalities on MRI were detected in 6/15 (40%) monozygotic and 13/33 (39%) dizygotic twins compared with 7/37 (19%) healthy age-matched controls. Abnormalities on MRI typical of multiple sclerosis (defined by the Fazekas criteria) were, however, present in only 2/15 (13%) monozygotic and 3/33 (9%) dizygotic twins and 0/37 controls. These results suggest that about 10% of monozygotic and dizygotic twins have "subclinical multiple sclerosis". It is likely that most of the MRI abnormalities seen in clinically discordant twins, however, represent incidental pathology.

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