Posted on Jul 03, 2018, 11 p.m.
Individuals exposed to paint, varnish and other solvents who carry genes that make them more susceptible to developing MS may be at increased risk for developing the disease, as published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Individuals exposed to paint, varnish, and other solvents are 50% more likely to develop multiple sclerosis. Individuals who carry genes making them more susceptible to multiple sclerosis that have been exposed are 7 times more likely to develop MS, if those same individuals have been smokers the risk is 30 times higher.
2042 patients were identified that were newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and matched with 2,947 individuals of same sex and age. Blood tests determined whether subjects had 2 human leukocyte antigen gene variants which are marker for the development and reduction of MS risks. Subjects were asked about any exposures to organic solvents, varnish, or painting products, and if they were or had been smokers.
In the group of nonsmoking subjects with neither MS genes there were 139 subjects with MS and 525 subjects without the disease. In the nonsmoking group with the MS genes and exposure to solvents there were 34 subjects with MS and 19 subjects without the disease. In the smoking group with MS genes and solvent exposure there were 40 subjects with MS and 5 subjects without the disease. Researchers determined the multiple sclerosis genes and exposure combined were responsible for and estimated 60% risk of developing the disease.
More studies need to be conducted to determine how the cocktail of smoking, MS genes and exposure to solvents contributes so significantly to multiple sclerosis risk. Lifestyle changes are recommended in those with a family history of MS to avoid certain substances, especially in combination to reduce risks of developing multiple sclerosis.
Materials provided by American Academy of Neurology.
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Anna Karin Hedström, Ola Hössjer, Michail Katsoulis, Ingrid Kockum, Tomas Olsson, Lars Alfredsson. Organic solvents and MS susceptibility Interaction with MS risk HLA genes. Neurology, 2018 DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005906