Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Recent studies have revealed that both genetic and environmental factors, principally latitude affect the prevalence.
In Cumbria, the vast majority of multiple sclerosis patients are under the care of a single consultant and specialist nurse-led service. Being community-based we believe there are very few people with MS who are not known to the service and this makes the population especially suitable for epidemiological study. The fact that the clinical team has access to the whole GP record through a shared clinical record enhances the data available research.
Nursing staff in the MS team have prospectively recorded the presence or absence of a family history of MS, and where present the affected family members. We will report upon the prevalence of a family history in our cohort of patients with MS, Clinically isolated syndrome and Radiologically syndrome which numbers 1300, of whom 1150 have an established MS diagnosis. We will compare this with expected rates of familial MS based upon a review of existing literature.
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