Date of Award

7-31-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Ike S. Okosun, Ph.D., M.S. - Chair

Second Advisor

John Steward, M.P.H.

Third Advisor

Ruoxiang Wang, M.D., Ph.D.

Abstract

The geographic disparity of multiple sclerosis has been noted in the literature for well over a century. The frequency of the disease varies significantly both within countries and in different parts of the world. The goal of this project is to give new insight regarding the etiology of multiple sclerosis. Several theories regarding the etiology of the disease have been reviewed, including a geographic theory, a nutritional theory, and a genetic theory. Although the geographic and nutritional theories have been thoroughly investigated by researchers, neither of them provides a conclusive explanation for the etiology of the disease, and there are discrepancies with respect to both theories. The purpose of this study is to reveal the discrepancies in the epigenetic theories regarding the etiology of multiple sclerosis and to demonstrate the correlation of multiple sclerosis prevalence and the migration and settlement history of Northern Europeans, thus conferring the passage of a genetic susceptibility to the disease.

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