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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(9), 11718-11752; doi:10.3390/ijms130911718
Review

Environmental Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis: A Review with a Focus on Molecular Mechanisms

1,* , 2
 and 3
Received: 31 July 2012; in revised form: 31 August 2012 / Accepted: 6 September 2012 / Published: 18 September 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Research of Multiple Sclerosis)
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Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disabling disease of the central nervous system commonly affecting young adults. Pathologically, there are patches of inflammation (plaques) with demyelination of axons and oligodendrocyte loss. There is a global latitude gradient in MS prevalence, and incidence of MS is increasing (particularly in females). These changes suggest a major role for environmental factors in causation of disease. We have reviewed the evidence and potential mechanisms of action for three exposures: vitamin D, Epstein Barr virus and cigarette smoking. Recent advances supporting gene-environment interactions are reviewed. Further research is needed to establish mechanisms of causality in humans and to explore preventative strategies.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis; demyelination; epidemiology; latitude; vitamin D; Epstein-Barr virus; smoking; gene-environment interaction multiple sclerosis; demyelination; epidemiology; latitude; vitamin D; Epstein-Barr virus; smoking; gene-environment interaction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

O’Gorman, C.; Lucas, R.; Taylor, B. Environmental Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis: A Review with a Focus on Molecular Mechanisms. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 11718-11752.

AMA Style

O’Gorman C, Lucas R, Taylor B. Environmental Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis: A Review with a Focus on Molecular Mechanisms. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012; 13(9):11718-11752.

Chicago/Turabian Style

O’Gorman, Cullen; Lucas, Robyn; Taylor, Bruce. 2012. "Environmental Risk Factors for Multiple Sclerosis: A Review with a Focus on Molecular Mechanisms." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, no. 9: 11718-11752.


Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert