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High incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in south east Scotland: evidence of a genetic predisposition
  1. G V MCDONNELL,
  2. S A HAWKINS
  1. Northern Ireland Neurology Service, Quin House, Royal Victoria Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT12 6BA, UK

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    We read with interest the results of Rothwell and Charlton regarding the incidence and prevalence of multiple sclerosis in south east Scotland.1 They have identified standardised multiple sclerosis prevalence rates for the Lothian and Border Regions of 203 and 219 per 100 000 respectively, the results challenging the theory that the high prevalence rates previously reported in Scotland are peculiar to the north east and its offshore islands. The authors postulate that the apparent step in prevalence rates between England and Scotland may be due to the distinctive Celtic ancestry of the Scottish population as can be crudely measured by surnames prefixed with Mc or Mac.

    In Northern Ireland we have also identified a much higher prevalence …

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