Multiple sclerosis: genetics, biomarkers, treatments

Curr Opin Neurol. 2016 Jun;29(3):345-53. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000319.


Purpose of review: We discuss new paradigms for understanding the immunopathology of multiple sclerosis through the recent development of high throughput genetic analysis, emergence of numerous candidate biomarkers, and the broadening of the treatment arsenal.

Recent findings: The recent use of genome wide association studies provide new tools for a better understanding of multiple sclerosis etiology. Genome-wide association studies have identified many genes implicated in immune regulation and the next step will be to elucidate how those genetic variations influence immune cell function to drive disease development and progression. Furthermore, patient care has seen the emergence of new biomarkers for monitoring disease progression and response to treatment. Finally, the introduction of numerous immunomodulatory treatments will likely improve clinical outcome of multiple sclerosis patients in the future.

Summary: Breakthroughs in the field of multiple sclerosis have led to a better understanding of the physiopathology of the disease, follow up, and treatment of the patients that develop relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. The next challenge for multiple sclerosis will be to press forward to model and decipher multiple sclerosis progression, which will help both to develop therapeutics and generate knowledge about mechanisms of neurodegeneration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Disease Progression
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Multiple Sclerosis / genetics


  • Biomarkers
  • Immunologic Factors