The epidemiology of multiple sclerosis

William E. Hogancamp, Moses Rodriguez, Brian G. Weinshenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Although the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown, epidemiologic studies support both genetic and environmental components of susceptibility. Reports of clusters, small 'epidemics,' geographic variation in prevalence, and alteration of MS susceptibility by migration support an environmental factor (or factors). The higher risk for MS in Europeans and in relatives of patients and the existence of MS-resistant ethnic groups support genetic predisposition. Findings from epidemiologic studies are most consistent with an environmental influence occurring on a background of genetic susceptibility as the cause of MS. Currently, there is little evidence for a single or unique environmental cause of MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-878
Number of pages8
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The epidemiology of multiple sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this