London – The International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium, led by the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford and funded by the Wellcome Trust, has identified 29 new genetic variations linked to multiple sclerosis (MS). The GWAS study, reported in Nature (doi:10.1038/nature10251), looked for +genetic differences between more than 9,000 people with MS and more than 17,000 controls. Approximately 20 known MS-linked regions of DNA were confirmed, apart from the novel susceptibility loci. The study also confirms a link between MS and the major histocompatibility complex, which plays a role in the immune system and autoimmunity. An overrepresentation of genes that influence T-cell maturation also indicates that these white blood cells are implicated in the disease process.