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Incidence of CSF abnormalities in siblings of multiple sclerosis patients and unrelated controls.

Journal article
Authors Sara Haghighi
Oluf Andersen
Lars Rosengren
Tomas Bergström
Jan Wahlström
Staffan Nilsson
Published in Journal of neurology
Volume 247
Issue 8
Pages 616-22
ISSN 0340-5354
Publication year 2000
Published at Institute of Laboratory Medicine
Institute of Clinical Neurosciences
Department of Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Dept of Clinical Virology
Pages 616-22
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Antibody Formation, Autoimmune Diseases, immunology, Case-Control Studies, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Family Health, Female, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, cerebrospinal fluid, immunology, Male, Measles, immunology, Middle Aged, Multiple Sclerosis, genetics, immunology, Phenotype
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


We found that 19% (9/47) of healthy siblings of patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis had an intrathecal immunological reaction with two or more 2 CSF-enriched oligoclonal bands (OCBs), in contrast to (4%) (2/50) unrelated healthy controls. Furthermore, in this group of nine healthy sibs the measles CSF IgG antibody titers were higher than that of the other sibs and that of controls. There were also differences in the serum titers for measles IgG antibody, which were higher in the group of all healthy sibs than in healthy volunteers, and (as with CSF titers) higher in the subgroup of healthy sibs with two or more 2 CSF-enriched OCBs than the other sibs. Thus a significant proportion of healthy siblings to MS patients have a partially hyperimmune condition similar to that occurring in MS, which in 19% manifested itself as an OCB reaction, in 9% as increased CSF measles IgG antibody titers, and in 21% as increased serum measles IgG antibody titers, these phenomena tending to occur in the same individuals. This condition is characterized by CSF-enriched OCBs with undefined specificity, although some increased antiviral reactivity is found both in the serum and CSF. While it needs further characterization, a genetic trait interacting with common infections is suggested. The recurrence risk of this condition is approximately five times higher than the 3-4% recurrence risk for manifest MS reported for sibs.

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