Multiple sclerosis sibling pairs: Clustered onset and familial predisposition

T. H. Doolittle, R. H. Myers, J. R. Lehrich, G. Birnbaum, W. Sheremata, G. M. Franklin, L. M. Nelson, S. L. Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


We evaluated 48 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (R/R MS) sibling pairs derived from 44 families for age and date of onset of MS symptoms, clinical course, and family history of MS. Age- and sex-matched R/R MS clinic patients provided a statistical comparison group. The age of onset tended to cluster within multiplex families. The initial symptom of MS occurred within 5 years of age in 30/48 sibling pairs compared with 16/48 controls. A positive family history of MS (other than siblings) was present in 43% of the multiplex families compared with 20% among simplex controls. In 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-degree relatives who had lived into the age at risk, 22/1,134 family members of multiplex sibling pairs had probable or definite MS compared with 10/1,215 control family members. Age of onset clustering in siblings concordant for R/R MS and an increased risk of MS in other family members suggest that factors influencing disease onset may be in part inherited in these kindreds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1546-1552
Number of pages7
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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