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Ancient DNA traces multiple sclerosis origins to 5,000-year-old migrations

Scientists have traced the origins of certain disease-risk genes to ancient humans, providing insight into modern disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, and type 2 diabetes. The study analysed DNA from almost 5,000 ancient human bones and teeth, discovering genes that increase the risk of MS in north-western Europe were introduced by sheep and cattle herders migrating from the east around 5,000 years ago. This offers a genetic background for the high prevalence of MS in northern Europe.

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