Epigenetic Changes Color the Genomes of People with MS – Jessica Shugart

he chemical decorations that adorn DNA could sway the onset or severity of multiple sclerosis just as much as the DNA sequence itself, suggests a study published in Nature Neuroscience.

 – December 9, 2013  –– 

The chemical decorations that adorn DNA could sway the onset or severity of multiple sclerosis just as much as the DNA sequence itself, suggests a study published in Nature Neuroscience. In addition to the genetic sequence that encodes the proteins expressed in each cell, chemical modifications to DNA dictate which genes get turned on and off. The study showed that people with MS display a different set of these modifications—collectively called the epigenome—than do people without the disease. Changes to the epigenome can be sparked by environmental factors such as diet, smoking, stress, and vitamin D levels, so the results of the study support the need for a “more holistic approach” to MS research, said Senior Author Patrizia Casaccia, MD, PhD, Professor of Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and Neurology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
-Dr. Patrizia Casaccia, Professor, Neuroscience, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
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