I have MS and was diagnosed in my 30's. I am the mother of four children, the youngest is a set of identical twins. One of the twins was diagnosed with pediatric onset MS at the age of 15, from what I am reading it appears that the other twin has a statistical risk of MS of around 30%. Is that correct?
Yes, you are correct. You can read a previous blog I wrote regarding fraternal twins and the risk of the second twin being diagnosed with MS http://www.healthcarejourney.com/q--a-for-virtual-ms-center/one-twin-has-multiple-sclerosiswhat-are-the-chances-that-the-other-will-too
With identical twins, the risk of the second twin being diagnosed is higher than with fraternal twins (5-15% depending on the study read for a fraternal twin vs 30% for an identical twin. Here is a blog written by Revere Kinkel MD that addresses this issue: http://www.healthcarejourney.com/q--a-for-virtual-ms-center/what-is-the-risk-of-passing-ms-to-a-child
Please note that this data is based on limited size studies, and the majority of siblings (even twins) do not develop MS, but discussing options with your neurologist is reasonable.
If you don't know about it already, you might also want to visit our Pediatric MS page http://www.healthcarejourney.com/pediatric-multiple-sclerosis.html which has a link to the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Alliance (PMSA), a non-profit organization for parents and caregivers of children with MS.
Benjamin M. Greenberg, MD, MHS
Director, Transverse Myelitis, Neuromyelitis Optica and Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Programs
Director, Neurosciences Clinical Research Center
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Childrens Medical Center