Epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis

Neurol Clin. 2016 Nov;34(4):919-939. doi: 10.1016/j.ncl.2016.06.016. Epub 2016 Aug 18.


The epidemiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) includes a consideration of genetic and environmental factors. Comparative studies of different populations have revealed prevalence and incidence rates that vary with geography and ethnicity. With a prevalence ranging from 2 per 100,000 in Japan to greater than 100 per 100,000 in Northern Europe and North America, the burden of MS is similarly unevenly influenced by longevity and comorbid disorders. Well-powered genome-wide association studies have investigated the genetic substrate of MS, providing insight into autoimmune mechanisms involved in the etiopathogenesis of MS and elucidating possible avenues of biological treatment.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; Neuroepidemiology; Public health.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / epidemiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy