An update on the geography and epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis.

Did you know that multiple sclerosis becomes more common the farther away from the equator that someone lives? The highest incidence of new multiple sclerosis cases exists above 35 degrees latitude.

# 1) Pop quiz, who is at higher risk of developing new onset multiple sclerosis, men or women? Scroll down for the answer.

  • a) Men
  • b) Women
  • c) Equal risk

#2) Who is at the highest risk of developing new multiple sclerosis, the child of patient with multiple sclerosis, the sibling of a patient with multiple sclerosis, or the identical twin of a multiple sclerosis patient? Scroll down for the answer.

  • a) Child of an MS patient
  • b) Sibling of an MS patient
  • c) Identical twin to an MS patient
  • d) Aunt or grandmother of an MS patient

Answers – for question one, the answer is a) women are 2-3 times more likely than men to develop multiple sclerosis. Most new cases present between age 20-50 years. For question two, the answer is c) identical twins, who would have a 25% chance of also developing multiple sclerosis. First degree relatives such as children or siblings (answers a and b) have a 2.5 – 5% risk of also developing multiple sclerosis.

Read more about typical imaging features in multiple sclerosis here.