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Keywords:

  • demyelination;
  • epigenetics;
  • genetics;
  • multiple sclerosis;
  • pharmacogenomics

Abstract

Therapeutic strategies are often based on two general principles: interference with the pathogenic process and repair of the damaged tissues. Recent studies, however, have suggested that several pathological conditions may result from the interplay between genetic susceptibility traits and environmental influences that, by modulating the epigenome, also affect disease onset and progression. Based on lessons from neural development, it is conceivable that new lines of preventive and possibly therapeutic intervention might be developed to modulate disease onset or decrease the severity of the symptoms. This review will discuss these concepts within the context of multiple sclerosis, the most common demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, and the leading cause of progressive neurological disability in young adults.