Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Multiple Sclerosis Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Sabzevar University of Medical Sciences, Sabzevar, Iran

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Department of Environment Health, School of Health, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

4 Department of Occupational Health, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Department of Environmental Health, School of Health, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences, Neyshabur, Iran

6 Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran

Abstract

There has been a global rising trend in recent years in the incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS). Despite being an MS low-risk region, this disease has also been recently on the rise in the Middle East. As part of the Middle East, Iran has not been spared either; however, the cause of this dramatic increase remains to be discovered. This study reviews possible reasons for this increase in Iran. Although many factors such as the increased rate of smoking, lifestyle changes, modernization, and contact with toxic solvents can be proposed as reasons for this sudden rise in the prevalence of MS in Iran, these factors cannot be taken as definite causes and further studies are required to prove their impact.