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Genetics and MS

Hi I am so unclear if MS is a genetic disease. My father had ND he as diagnosed at 45. My maternal aunt also has MS I have been having some symptoms my hand go kind of numb down my arm and hands just feels like pins and needles all the sudden for no reason.  My primary has done every blood test to rule out other illnesses. He suggested MRI and neurologist consult. I have a few other things but they could be other physical problems. I don't want to jump to conclusions or have my Dr due to family history I'm just unsure if I really need to have all that stuff done because of my family history
4 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm just wondering why no one has commented on my question I'm stressed out worried and can't get anyone to comment here either
5265383 tn?1483808356
Honestly, sudden onset of pins and needles and numbness in your hand and arm sounds a lot more like a nerve entrapment injury.  If I was you, I'd head to a good physiotherapist first.  They can carry out some simple tests to see if this is the actual issue.

Do you have specific fingers that go numb first?
1 Comments
I have had nerve studies on hands and arms. They were negative as I was actually thinking  maybe pinched nerve dr said maybe carpertunnel .all negative. I have had every blood test known to man to rule out any other problem they were all good negative  no indication of vitamin defecenty or other illnesses . The problem with the hands and arm have been going on for over 9 10 months i have just ignored but has progressive gotten worse  I have had migraines in the past luckley maybe 2 or 3 a year but usually all within a week or 2 but won't have a problem for 6 months year maybe year half.  In the past 3 months I have had about 10 15 I also have numbness in my legs but I have had back surgery. . Once again I am an optimistic person and don't want to jump to conclusions because of my family history but I also have ignored many other things as I feel they have logical explinations. The thing I can't find an answer to anywhere in reguards  the fact it can be familial.  honestly I can't find anywhere anyone has had MS in a family member on both sides of family ( at least online ) My father had it he has passed actually partially from the MS. My mother's sister MY AUNT  has it. I am in no  way wanting this diagnosis but I am kind of not wanting to do the mri and other tests either cause I'm in denial or I feel they are jumping to conclusions  if anyone knows more on exactly how familial it is  please let me know.   I know it is not directly inherited . Sorry for such long post I actually left alot out
987762 tn?1331027953
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi and welcome,

It's actually a lot more common to be the only member in the family with MS....MS isn't genetically inheritable like many other medical conditions it's more of a genetic susceptibility, having said that though there can be multiple family members diagnosed with MS but it's honestly not the norm.

The odds slightly increase with first relations, eg parent and siblings, the further removed the relationship the less likely it becomes eg grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc, your mothers sister's (maternal aunt's) diagnoses shouldn't really be of concern to her sisters or brothers children...

To be honest i'm not sure if your saying your father was actually diagnosed with MS or some other neurological disorder ("My father had ND"), but even if he was dx with MS, keep in mind your aunt and father are only related by marriage.

'IF' they had been brother and sister and both diagnosed with MS, the genetic susceptibility in the family would be higher so their children would of had higher odds of being dx-ed with MS but even then, the odds (depending on where you look) are only around 5-10%, which means 90-95% of MSers children won't be diagnosed with MS..

" If MS were solely dependent on genes, it would be expected that if one identical twin developed the condition, so would the other, which isn't the case.

Studies have shown that, whilst still small, the risk of developing multiple sclerosis is higher for people who already have someone with MS in their family.

An Australian study published in 2013 combined the results of 18 previous studies to get a better estimate of the risk of MS in family members. In families where one member was already diagnosed with MS, the risk was highest for more closely related members.

Lifetime risk of MS by relationship to someone with MS:

Identical twin - 1 in 5
Non-identical twin - 1 in 22
Other brothers or sisters - 1 in 37
Parent - 1 in 67
Child - 1 in 48

Relatives that were less closely related had a lower risk.
The lifetime risk in the general population is about 1 in 330...

...MS risk in context

It is worth putting MS in context with other conditions.

1 in 3 people will develop some form of cancer
1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives
1 in 9 men will develop prostate cancer
1 in 20 people over the age of 65 have dementia
1 in 22 people have chronic heart disease
1 in 33 people have diabetes
1 in 500 people have Parkinson's Disease"

https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/risk-developing-ms

I would strongly suggest you put any worrying thoughts you have about what you experience being a neurological condition like MS completely out of your mind....bilateral, all peripherals (upper and lower limbs) are typically red flags pointing away from neurological conditions like MS because the symptom pattern is not commonly associated with MS and more commonly associated with peripheral nervous system issues.

IF you already have a pre existing structural spinal issue and had spinal surgery, it's just 'more likely' to be structural spinal related and or migraine related which has worsened around the same time frame....higher likelihood it's all associated to what you already know about, so don't put it off any longer, make an appointment with a neurologist and find out for sure what exactly is going on!

Hope that helps....JJ  
3 Comments
Thank you for your answer and when I put ND for my dad that was a typo he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As so was my aunt my mother's sister so she is a blood relative not marriage. Sorry if it was confusing. So it is on my mother's side of family as we as my father he has passed but he had MS.
My Dr actually has ordered a neurology consult as well as MRI of brain and spine I'm just a little reluctant to to go. He said considering your symptoms and negative nerve tests and negative blood tests for any other illnesses I should go especially considering my family history. I guess that's why I was inquiring about family history and MS
I'd highly recommend you keep in your mind that despite the MS genetic susceptibility risk factor in your family history;

'you' have a pre-existing medical history of structural spinal issues bad enough to require surgery

and

this is happening in both your upper (arms, hands) and lower limbs (legs), your symptom pattern of all peripheral limbs is one of the most common red flags pointing away from neurological conditions like MS

Hope that helps..........JJ
Avatar universal
Thank you I am actually leaning I'm that direction to be honest. I really wasn't even concerned that it was MS until the Dr's were concerned. I'm a very positive person I don't go looking for problems. This is the last thing I was expecting to hear. Anyway had MRI haven't got results but I'm sure all is well!! Thank you for your response I am glad I'm not the only one thinking more that way!!! Rather than the alternative
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