Multiple sclerosis is an auto immune disease that usually strikes in the prime of life, leaving some in a wheelchair, but thousands of others with symptoms that are frustrating, but much less noticeable.
MS can produce numbness, tingling, vision trouble, weakness and even behavioral changes. Now, Texas Tech is on a mission to find a cure. It was announced today that Tech researchers will join others at Duke, Kansas University and the Cleveland Clinic to look at what role the environment plays in this strange disease.
"We're gong to be looking at risk factors associated with MS We're going to be looking at the roles of environmental exposure and genetic susceptibilities and the combination of the two of them in the development of the disease," says Dehelia Williams, an epidemiologist.
"If we can understand those causes better, risk factors, maybe we can reduce risk factors and prevent the disease," says Dr. Randolph Schiffer, the TTUHSC Department Chair of Neuropsychiatry.
Dr. Schiffer says for some reason, West Texas has a low rate of MS compared to the rest of the country and that's one of the issues that will be investigated carefully during this two year study.