A case of double standard: Sex differences in multiple sclerosis risk factors

Benedetta Angeloni, Rachele Bigi, Gianmarco Bellucci, Rosella Mechelli, Chiara Ballerini, Carmela Romano, Emanuele Morena, Giulia Pellicciari, Roberta Reniè, Virginia Rinaldi, Maria Chiara Buscarinu, Silvia Romano, Giovanni Ristori, Marco Salvetti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Multiple sclerosis is a complex, multifactorial, dysimmune disease prevalent in women. Its etiopathogenesis is extremely intricate, since each risk factor behaves as a variable that is in-terconnected with others. In order to understand these interactions, sex must be considered as a determining element, either in a protective or pathological sense, and not as one of many variables. In particular, sex seems to highly influence immune response at chromosomal, epigenetic, and hormonal levels. Environmental and genetic risk factors cannot be considered without sex, since sex-based immunological differences deeply affect disease onset, course, and prognosis. Understanding the mechanisms underlying sex-based differences is necessary in order to develop a more effective and personalized therapeutic approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3696
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2021


  • Environmental factors
  • Genetic factors
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sex bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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