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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/23/2008 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,
I'm new to this forum and have a question. My sister was diagnosed with MS around 2003 after experiencing numbness in her feet/legs and memory issues. She was well on her way to a strong battle against MS when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. After a 2 year battle with cancer, she passed away in March of 2006 at age 48.
My question is: what are the percentages of family members having MS? ie: is MS genetic? I know I am at serious risk for certain types of cancers due to genetics, but not sure if MS works the same way. I've recently been experiencing memory loss, headaches and twitching/numbness in my face. I get tingling in my hands/arms, but that was diagnosed as carpal tunnel a long time ago. I recently had a checkup/physical and mentioned the issues to my Dr., but she kind of shrugged it off as stress. Then I mentioned my sisters MS diagnosis and she raised an eyebrow but still made no move to look into it.
If genetics is an issue, I feel I would want to push stronger for a better look into what's going on - I'm a firm believer in early detection, for anything. Any help that can be offered is definitely appreciated ~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 1/23/2008 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Happycampin
Let me start by saying i'm so sorry for u'r great loss. I can't imagine where u are now and where u've been. It sounds like ur sister was quite a fighter!
I'm not sure how to answer u'r question on genetics. I've been told that IF it were going to be passed from one family member to another..that it'd be most likely between siblings and not passed from parent to child...but i've also heard just the opposite as well. So i'v done some research and come up with these links. I hope this helps u to have a better understanding of where u may be. I am not dx'd with ms, but came to this forum with 'ms type' symptoms. I have since concluded that i prob don't have ms. I do, however, have fairly close family who have or had it. My father's dad had it and so does a cousin in that same there could be a link there. I do hope u'r symptoms turn out to be ONLY stress and u dont' continue to have any problems. Did u'r doc suggest any testing?? What was his/her plan on this?? Please do let us know how u are and how this goes for u. Welcome to gh board and please feel free to ask any questions u may have.
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
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*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
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Post Edited (rhondab) : 1/23/2008 11:27:07 AM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 1/23/2008 2:20 PM (GMT -6)   

Rhonda's given you links to good information about this. I think generally it is much more rare than the cancers you already know about.  But for your own peace of mind, you might want to start a small log -- record the symptoms you're now experiencing, and see if they worsen, or go away in time, or if there are new things going on.  And then if they don't dissipate, call the doctor, remind her of your visit, and tell her what has been going on.

Unfortunately there are lots of disorders that can mimic MS, including things as benign as pre-menopause. Your sister was 48; how old are you? Is pre-menopause a possibility? It can start to cause problems in women as young as in their 30's, and last through the early 50's. If your symptoms persist, you might want to go back to the doctor and be tested for this, as well as things like thyroid problems, or diabetes, which also can cause some of those kinds of symptoms. 

I'm very sorry for the loss of your sister.  Losing a sibling is very hard, I know. Take care.


...I am not a doctor, nor health professional, and don't pretend to be one, here.....

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 1/24/2008 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Rhonda and Uppitycats ~ I sincerely appreciate the advise you offer.
I will take some time to research the links you offered; and will begin a log of dates/symptoms so I can keep better track. Heaven knows I can't remember anything on my own!! I will be 44 in May, so pre-menopause is certainly something to consider.
I'm dissappointed in my Dr. b/c she really didn't offer a road to take. I've been with her a long time and wonder if its time to look into a second opinion. I'm not ready to jump the gun just yet though. I'll keep the log for a few months and see where it's going from there. Then I will have something solid to back to her with. Thanks again for the links, suggestions and the well wishes ~ best wishes to you both ~ k

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 1/24/2008 7:19 PM (GMT -6)   
First and foremost I am so sorry for your loss. I dont have an answer as whether MS is genetic..But I did know a family where a father had ms and his daughter has it.Plus his niece also had it.However most ppl i know are the only ones in their family who has it such as myself..That question has always been a tossup...In other words they arent sure. Barb
diaganosed 1983
avonex once weekly
steroid infusion every three months for three days
mycoline three times a day
fosamax once a week
bladder meds. daily

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