Multiple sclerosis, (MS) a disease of the central nervous system may be difficult to treat. Early diagnosis is not easily possibly because the symptoms and signs of this ailment appear similar to other disorders. A new study supposedly revealed a gene variant that can heighten the severity of MS symptoms.

Scientists screened the oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS1) gene in 401 people with MS, 394 people without MS and 178 people provided with the MS treatment beta interferon. It was alleged that 63 percent of people with MS had the AA genotype of the OAS1 gene. 57 percent of people without MS probably revealed the same genotype. The scientists apparently discovered GG genotype in 37 percent of people with MS and 43 percent of people without the disease.

Margaret O’Brien, PhD, with St. Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland and the study author remarked, “While we don’t understand why some patients vary so widely in their disease activity, this genetic association may give us clues to help direct future research.”

It was mentioned that the OAS1 gene relation with disease susceptibility was not strong. Individuals with the AA genotype seemed to have earlier relapses and elevated disease activity as compared to volunteers without the genotype. Less disease activity and fewer relapses were suggested in people with the GG genotype. Though the GG genotype is affirmed to safeguard against heightened disease activity in people with MS, further investigations may be required.

The study will be published in the August 3, 2010, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.