Genetics of Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). It evolves in persons with a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity who are also exposed to a variety of environmental risk factors. MS causes extensive CNS demyelination and axonal damage accompanied by immune cell infiltrates, and genetic studies of individuals with MS have been foundational to understanding the pathogenesis of the disease. In this chapter, we will review the emergence of MS as a complex genetic disease and discuss the current frontiers of genetic research in MS. Attempts to leverage genetic data to predict individual-level responses to MS therapies and prognosticate disease severity have so far been less successful, and we will also review these efforts.