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Scientists Demonstrate the Relationship of Sex and Development of Multiple Sclerosis

December 5, 2016

Many studies have looked into the differences in physiology between males and females that go beyond their reproductive organs. Males are more predisposed to certain afflictions than women and vice versa. It seems like a recent study surrounding sex and multiple sclerosis have demonstrated the statement above to be true.

A recently published research in the Journal of Neuroscience Research clearly showed a link between sex and the development of multiple sclerosis. The study conducted by scientists from the Federal State Budgetary Scientific Institution in St. Petersburg, Russia, observed the gene codes for galanin, a protein that determines that susceptibility to multiple sclerosis or MS, in males compared to females. The study used post-mortem brain samples of both healthy and MS patients.

The study examined the "more active" and "less active" variants of the DNA sequence that relates to the galanin gene between healthy and MS patients. No significant difference was charted until the researchers considered the sex of their participants. The results showed that there was a decrease in "less active" variant in healthy men compared to healthy women. The presence of less active variant makes men susceptible to multiple sclerosis than men. However, the progression of MS is accelerated in women than in men that carried that variant.

Dr. Victoria Liodyno, lead author of the study, is hopeful that their study would shift medication to diseases like multiple sclerosis into a more personalized approach.

"We hope that our findings will foster development of a personalized strategy for the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis, one that takes into account the gender-specific contribution of galanin gene variants to susceptibility and disease progression" quipped Liodyno