WARNING: I am only an analyst. I am not a doctor.
These ideas are my own and should not be considered those of authority
Well, no one knows yet. However, we may be getting close. I have read a lot of things and most of it did not wash, (it didn't make sense).
I am not a doctor but I am an analyst and the simple and obvious is most often the correct answer. The following is some of what I have
read that seems to correlate and is right now the best theory I have seen. Maybe it is right and maybe it is not. If it is false, I would like to hear how someone shoots it down.
MS is a steady activity within the brain. Those discrete exacerbations are visual signs of MS progress but MRI testing shows that
MS is always working within the brain breaking down myelin.
Heat always affects an MSer. With heat, nerves conduct more rapidly. With demyelination due to MS, the never transmissions are
short-circuited, blocked due to demyelination (dead nerve cells). When the signals are stopped, the nerves stops functioning.
After the MSer cools down, the nerves start to function again taking longer or modified routes (detours).
MS normally shows up when an adult is in their 30's or 40's.
The symptoms normally seen:
blurred vision, double vision, optic neuritis
bladder: urgency, frequency, hesitancy
Now a few facts.
MS began to appear 175 years ago. It's rate began to climb about 100 years ago and has climbed rapidly over the past 50 years.
MS occurs in women 1.5 to 2.0 times as often as in men.
MS occurs 2 to 3 times more often in colder regions than in warmer regions.
The diagnosis of MS is higher in the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. These countries are about the same distance from the equator.
MS is more common in the middle of the USA and the middle of Canada than along the coast lines of either country.
MS affects the CNS, Central Nerve System, the voluntary control muscles. It does not affect the ANS, Autonomic Nerve System, the heart, lungs, et.el.
MS normally occurs 1 in 1000 within the normal population. It occurs 1 in 50 within children who had a parent with MS. MS occurs 1 in 3 within identical twins.
Some DNA markers have been found common in all MS patients tested.
MS is not passed between people by contact or blood transfusion.
The immune cells, T-cells, get into the CNS through a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, BBB.
A more recent finding: Testing has shown that exacerbations begin right after a breakdown of the BBB in 38 of 38 patients --- all of them --- tested over a 6 month period.
Laboratory testing has shown that hypersensitive foods (**) and saturated fats lead to a breakdown in the BBB. NOTE: This is not the only cause of breakdowns in the BBB.
So, what does this limited data tell me?
The cause of MS is not bacteria. They are too big and we would have seen them. It is not a virus. MS is not passed by physical contact in any form. I also think I can rule out high voltage electrical lines, microwaves and the automobile. In addition I rule out voodoo, space aliens, a full moon and the sign of the Zodiac.
There is a link to heredity and a combination of DNA markers. A blood relative is more likely to be diagnosed with MS. However this is not a hard link because the probability is still low and even less in the warmer regions of the world.
The following is not a new theory but it makes sense to me. At least it seems to fit the data.
Through evolution or the hand of God, the DNA structure of some people causing their myelin to have a protein that appears to be a harmful agent that the T-cells attack for body protection.
Not all people with this DNA combo get MS. Those that do experience a breakdown of their BBB. This allows T-cells into the CNS. This breakdown is the key.
I believe diet is the link between these people. Living in the colder regions and normally away from the coast, they are exposed more often to the common hypersensitive foods: diary products and grains versus seafood and fruits. In addition there is a correlation between the increase in MS over the last 50 years and the growth of the 'fast-food' industry (and saturated fats). It is also easy to link food/diet with the other data. Food is not the only factor that leads to a breakdown of the BBB but it is the more likely cause and the most simple conclusion.
It is unlikely we will be able to cure MS or repair the damage done. However, if this theory is close, it may be possible to prevent MS by identifying one's hypersensitive foods and following a diet (not just to lose weight but a healthy one.) It may also be possible to arrest MS by strengthening the BBB using medication and a strict change in diet.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a simple solution to a complex problem?
** hypersensitive foods are those to which a person may be allergic. Some of the common ones are dairy products, cereal grain,
eggs, yeast, legumes (beans) and wheat products. The only way to find out if you are hypersensitive to a food is to take a blood allergy test for IgE and IgG4.