Solvent exposure increases risk of multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. A new study warns that exposure to varnish, paint, and other solvents raise the risk of MS particularly for people having a family member suffering with the condition.

MS is estimated to affect about 400,000 people in the United States and 2.1 million people globally. Women are likely to be more affected by the disease than men.

New research claims that that exposure to solvents undeniably increases the MS risk and in addition, smoking escalates this risk.

Lead author of this review Dr. Anna Hedström from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden and colleagues focused on lung irritation caused by different sources. They assumed that the irritation may initiate an immune response, causing MS in people who have a family member leaving with the condition.

Their findings were published in the journal Neurology.

To find out the truth regarding their assumption, the researchers analyzed a sample of 2,042 Swedish people diagnosed with MS and compared them with a sample of 2,947 sex- and age-matched people.

After the study, they concluded that solvent exposure linked to MS genes increased around 60 percent of the risk of developing the condition.

“In the meantime, avoiding cigarette smoke and unnecessary exposure to organic solvents, particularly in combination with each other, would seem reasonable lifestyle changes people can take to reduce the risk of MS, especially in people with a family history of the disease,” notes Dr. Gabriele C. DeLuca of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.



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