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Category: Autoimmune Diseases
Researchers from Australia and New Zealand have found another genetic link between multiple sclerosis and vitamin D metabolism.
The study, published in Nature Genetics, compared the genomes of close to 4,000 MS patients against a control group to identify areas of variation.
The researchers found two regions of the genome, one on chromosome 12 and one on chromosome 20, with significant differences from the control group. They have not yet isolated the gene on chromosome 12 with certainty, but according to the Australian Broadcasting Company, they suspect it is a gene called CYP27P1 which is also important in vitamin D metabolism.
Study author Justin Rubio, of the Florey Neuroscience Institute in Melbourne noted to the news agency that the prevalence of MS increases in regions further away from the equator, as does the incidence of vitamin D deficiencies.
Earlier this year Australian researchers in Perth published a study that showed that vitamin D is linked to the expression of a variation in the gene HLA-DRB1 which is known to be a risk factor for MS. The scientists theorized that maintaining high vitamin D levels may reduce the risk of an onset of the disease.
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