Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 6-10

Epidemiology and genetic aspects of multiple sclerosis in India

Department of Neurology, Cardiothoracic and Neurosciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rohit Bhatia
Department of Neurology, Room No 603, 6th Floor, Cardiothoracic and Neurosciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.164814

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system with a complex pathophysiology. Considered a rare disease in India in the past, studies over time suggest an increase in subjects with MS in India, although the observations are limited by the lack of formally conducted epidemiological studies and the absence of a nationwide registry. The current World Health Organization (WHO) Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) "Atlas of MS" 2013 estimates a prevalence rate of 5-20 per 100,000, which also seems an underestimate. Although there have been reports of phenotypic differences between MS in Indians and the Western counterparts, recent studies report a reasonable similarity in disease types and characteristics. A few studies on the genetics of MS have been reported, including human leukocyte antigen (HLA) associations and non-major histopathology complex (MHC) disease loci. The current review discusses the pivotal studies of the past, newer observations on MS from India, and the need for a national registry.

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