A perfect storm of genetic variables and environmental factors come together in creating this disease.
Neurologist Lauren B. Krupp, M.D., director of NYU Langone’s Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center in New York City, shares what experts know, and don't know, about the causes of this chronic condition.
What Causes MS?
There are still a lot of questions in people's minds as to what causes MS. Essentially, I think a good way of considering what causes MS is to think about it as the perfect storm of different elements coming together. The two main elements are one's genetics and the environmental factors that a person has been exposed to.
So MS is an altered immune response. It's an immune mediated condition, where the immune response is directed against the covering of nerves, called myelin. And the reason for that altered immune response has to do with maybe any number of 200 different genes, that control different immune elements that are altered in how they respond to environmental factors.