Research highlights high prevalence of MS in Orkney
Published date: 11 Dec 2012 at 9:15AM
Research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry has reported that the prevalence of MS in Orkney is higher than previously thought.
The research, conducted by teams at the universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen, showed that the rate of probable or definite MS in Orkney was 402 per 100,000. This is an increase from 309 per 100,000 last estimated in 1974.
Researchers looked at hospital, GP and laboratory records to estimate the prevalence of MS in Aberdeen, Orkney and the Shetland Islands and found that prevalence was highest amongst women who lived in Orkney.
The reasons for this are unclear but could be attributed to better diagnosis of MS, better survival rates or a true increase in the rate of MS. Researchers say they believe the rise in prevalence may be, at least partly, down to genes.
Susan Kohlhaas from the MS Society said, “This in an interesting study which highlights the high prevalence of MS in Orkney, but it's still not clear why this might be the case.
“Further research is essential to build on our knowledge of the underlying causes of MS so that potential treatment and prevention strategies can be developed."
Further research is essential to build on our knowledge of the underlying causes of MS so that potential treatment and preventative strategies can be developed.Dr Susan Kohlhaas, MS Society