Preventing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disability progression through early intervention.

In MS, the myelin surrounding the nerve axons is damaged due to the death of the cells that produce the myelin (oligodendrocytes), causing a malfunction in communication between your brain and your body. This can lead to a loss of movement, fatigue, loss of vision, and even pain in parts of the body.

Gknowmix GeneTalk would like to share the amazing story of Karen Nortje who was diagnosed with MS in 2006, at the same time that a scientific article was published by Prof Susan van Rensburg about the importance of nutritional support. A friend told her about this research and after a medical consultation, she decided to follow the Rapha Regimen program described in this article. Read more.

In the last 13 years, Karin has made a full recovery, lost 20 kilograms and finished three marathons and numerous shorter races. Watch the video below.


The positive effect of a healthy lifestyle and weight loss could partly be explained by the results of a previous research study performed in South Africa. We found that a subgroup of MS patients who inherited a genetic variation in the obesity-related FTO gene have raised homocysteine levels. The levels of this toxic amino acid correlated positively with body mass index (BMI) and total cholesterol levels. Daily intake of at least five fruits and vegetables had a favourable effect on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). This novel finding is consistent with the role of FTO in demethylation and epigenetic changes and reinforces the importance of a healthy lifestyle to prevent or reduce the risk of MS disability. Read more.

A study by Gianfrancesco et al. (2016) has gone on to investigate the “Causal effect of genetic variants associated with BMI on MS susceptibility”.  Their findings confirmed an independent effect of FTO on MS susceptibility.

The presence of any of the multiple obesity-related gene variations identified in the human genome will not result in MS, but may affect the metabolic pathways involved in the development of MS that are mediated by a high BMI. This includes vitamin D status and chronic inflammation that also affects iron metabolism, providing another opportunity to reduce the risk, even in children with MS. Read more.

Demyelinating Diseases GeneScreen

At Gknowmix we offer the Demyelinating Diseases GeneScreen, which aims to identify a combination of genetic, biochemical and environmental factors associated with different subtypes of MS. The results could provide the information needed to improve quality of life at the individual level. While this screen cannot prevent or cure MS, it empowers patients with the expert knowledge to better manage their disease outcome in consultation with their doctor.

Do you still experience MS flare-ups? There is hope…
For more information or to find out how to get involved in the research, please visit