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Childhood abuse linked to risk of developing multiple sclerosis 

Experiencing abuse during childhood is associated with a higher risk of getting multiple sclerosis (MS) in later life, a Norwegian study has found. 

Both emotional and sexual abuse were linked to MS, and suffering more than one type of abuse increased the risk further. This study adds to previous findings of links between trauma in childhood and MS, and adds weight to the theory that stress in early life is a risk factor. 

“Trauma in childhood and adolescence may alter the immune system and increase the risk of autoimmune disorders,” with “childhood sexual and emotional abuse … associated with an increased risk of developing MS,” the researchers wrote.

The data was shared at the 37th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), which ran virtually through October.

Source: MS-UK 02 November 2021

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