Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neuroimmunological and neurodegenerative disease affecting >400000 individuals in the United States. Population and family-based studies have suggested that there is a strong genetic component. Numerous genomic linkage screens have identified regions of interest for MS loci. Our own second-generation genome-wide linkage study identified a handful of non-major histocompatibility complex regions with suggestive linkage. Several of these regions were further examined using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with average spacing between SNPs of ∼1.0Mb in a dataset of 173 multiplex families. The results of that study provided further evidence for the involvement of the chromosome 1q43 region. This region is of particular interest given linkage evidence in studies of other autoimmune and inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. In this follow-up study, we saturated the region with ∼700 SNPs (average spacing of 10kb per SNP) in search of disease-associated variation within this region. We found preliminary evidence to suggest that common variation within the RGS7 locus may be involved in disease susceptibility.
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