Background: Results from the Canadian Collaborative Project on Genetic Susceptibility to Multiple Sclerosis (MS)-Phase 1 (CCPGSMS-Phase 1) together with other family data published since 1982 have led to the following conclusions about the etiology of MS: (i) genetic and non-genetic (environmental) factors are involved in the etiology of MS on a population basis; (ii) the familial aggregation of MS is genetic; (iii) maternal factors do not influence the risk for siblings to develop MS; and (iv) MS appears to be oligogenic. The present paper describes the rationale and methodology for the CCPGSMS-Phase 2.
Method: The CCPGSMS-Phase 2 is a nation-wide collaborative effort involving all the 15 Canadian MS clinics. A series of structured questionnaires is administered to MS index cases, spouse controls and mothers of index cases and spouse controls (if available) by trained interviewers. Blood samples are taken for molecular genetic studies. This national effort is coordinated by the MS Clinics in Vancouver and London.
Results: The CCPGSMS-Phase 2 is in progress so specific results are not available. The study is designed to (i) increase the database for genetic epidemiological/molecular genetic research and (ii) gather population-based data to further our understanding of the non-genetic factors in the etiology of MS.
Conclusions: It is anticipated that the results from this study will impact on the eventual prevention, cure and treatment of MS.