Gene links smoking, multiple sclerosis

Smokers with genetic variant face tripled risk of MS

By Tina Hesman Saey, 17:15 PM October 25, 2013

BOSTON — A variant in a gene involved in breaking down chemicals in smoke triples a smoker’s risk of multiple sclerosis, a study shows.

Smoking increases by 30 to 50 percent a person’s risk of multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the immune system attacks a waxy coating around nerve cells. Scientists don’t know exactly how smoking contributes to the disease.

Farren Briggs of the University of California, Berkeley and his colleagues searched DNA of thousands of people in Northern California, N...

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