Family History?

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/27/2007 12:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Almost 10 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with MS. Over the years, I've watched it take a toll on her in the many ways that it does.

We look back over the years at the various symptoms that she exhibited well before we knew what was wrong and the ones that have come about post-diagnosis.

My question is, does anyone know of a close family history of MS -- such as paternal or say, a grand-parent and grand-child both having MS?

Over the past 2-3 years, I have started experiencing a number of MS-type symptoms and have only recently (in the past few months) began to discuss this with my mother. She thinks I should be checked for MS.

I just wonder if I'm going to be taken seriously? I keep a journal of my symptoms and am beginning to think that I very well may have a good reason for being tested.

Thanks in advance...


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 11/27/2007 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Andy!

Welcome to the board. I'm so sorry to hear u'r having symptoms, but try to keep in mind that MANY of the MS type symptoms are also symptoms of various other illnesses...and many of those much more benign. If u feel u'r experiencing any symptoms that indicate ms, or anything else, u should defiitely be seeing a doctor. But, i wouldn't walk in the door requesting to be 'checked for ms'. Rather, go to u'r pcp and explain to him/her what's going on and how these symptoms are presenting for u. How they feel and how long they last. Be ready for and open to all sorts of testing. Since many things mimic ms, many things will need to be ruled in or out and this may take a long time. I know, u'r mom has ms and u'r prob already aware of all this information, but just as a reminder, be ready to possibly wait a long time for answers.

As for a family history? Well my paternal grandfather had ms and so does a second cousin on the same side of my family. It is believed that ms is more prevelent in families across the lines of siblings rather than from parent to child. However, that doesn't at all dictate that u couldn't have ms since u'r mom does. Be seen by u'r doc. Let him decide if u need to be referred to a neurologist or other specialist. Take good care of u'rself and by all proactive! Let us know how u decide to proceed and what the results of that are. I'm so glad u found us and decided to post. Please feel free to continue to ask questions and we'll all do everything we can to help u get answers.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1852
   Posted 11/28/2007 12:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Andy,
    Unlike with other autoimmune, they have yet to discover a genetic factor in regard to MS.  You will hear about families that have a history of MS in them, but more commonly you will hear more about families with different autoimmune diseases spread around.  What I would suggest is to go ahead and make that appointment and be seen.  There are a lot of illnesses that have similar symptoms to MS, and be prepared for lots of testing as MS is a diagnosis of exclusion rather than testing for that particular illness off the bat. 
    Its not uncommon to have the feeling of will they take me seriously.  Be proactive with your own health care, there are those out there who will listen to you.  Let us know how you are doing and I wish you the best in your search for answers.
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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/28/2007 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
My mom has a number of theories as to why she has come down with MS, such as long term exposure to solder and exposure to mercury. I, as a child, was exposed to both for long periods of time -- soldering was a hobby of my dad's and then mine and I played with mercury before I knew it was poison.

Nonetheless, she's got herself convinced that I, too, have MS. :(

I'll be talking to my doctor about my symptoms -- as I've been keeping a journal -- and see where it goes from there.

Thanks for the advice!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 11/28/2007 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a weird story, My father started to lose his hearing about 20 years ago, and they were doing tests on him including an MRI. that showed a lesion on his brain stem and they told him after more test's that he had MS. Well long story short he ended up getting esophagus cancer and died last year. After I started having symptoms and got test's done the MRI showed that I had many lesions including one in the exact same place as my father.- He never really got a true diagnosis of MS but I did and it seems a little weird that he had the same lesion as me. I have also heard that some MS patients have problems with GERD......... -Tertle.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 11/28/2007 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Andy, I know of 2 instances' where the MS "gene"is very prevelant in a family..Was passed from father to daughter..Father's neice also had it.. Another instance is where 3 sets of cousins all came down with MS. But over all I hear and experience that MS only strikes the individual..And they have not came up with the heriditary factor yet..Like everybody else said for yor own piece of mind go see the doc..Then again with MS anything is possible....Enviromental factors...Weather any thing.......Kinda strange when 4 sibiling grew up in the Same enviroment and 1 gets MS..Ya never know.. Good Luck to you and i hope you get some answers...pokey79
diaganosed 1983
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steroid infusion every three months for three days
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2135
   Posted 11/28/2007 12:32 PM (GMT -7)   

Here is a link to the National MS Society web page which talks specifically about a genetic link to getting MS:

So there is an increase in risk if you have a parent with MS, but it is still a small increase.  There is no one else in my family (that I know of) who has MS, but two aunts did have autoimmune diseases (lupus and rheumatoid arthritis).


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

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 11/28/2007 12:34 PM (GMT -7)   
@uppitycats -- Thanks for the link.
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