The highest incidence of MS is in North East Scotland Orkney & Shetland!

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Offline xanadu

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The lowest incidence is in Equatorial countries!
If you emigrate to an equatorial country from NE Scot, Orkney or Shetland your risk of developing MS becomes that of your new residence. Likewise if you emigrate to the NE Scot your risk of developing MS becomes that of your new residence. This may indicate an environmental cause for MS?
If that is so why do native Shetland Ponies and native Shetland & Orcadian sheep not develop MS?


Offline rosy

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It's been suggested (research published in a peer reviewed journal provides some backing for this idea) that a lack of sunlight (possibly because exposure to UV B from sunlight is important to the body to make vitamin D, so the problem may actually be a lack of vitamin D), possibly combined with exposure to the Epstein-Barr (glandular fever) virus is the cause of the north-south divide in MS incidence. So yes, an environmental cause, or at least an environmental trigger, for MS does seem to be considered likely by researchers. So possible ways of reducing MS incidence seem to be vitamin D supplementation and/or developing and using a vaccine against Epstien-Barr.
Tho' also, apparently, there are areas with high MS incidence around the world which have been settled by people emmigrating from scotland, so there may be genetic factors too.
I don't know whether ponies and sheep in general get MS (or MS-like conditions), but I guess that given they're covered in hair they probably aren't dependent on exposure to sunlight to make sufficient vitamin D, whether they live up north or not... so that living at high latitudes probably doesn't make much difference.