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Could MS Doctors be Treating the Wrong Disease?

Posted Nov 17 2009 10:20pm
Provided by Karen in Florida


Tuesday June 9, 2009
I ran across this while doing some research and, although it is a little old, thought it was interesting. Some experts think that the reason a cure for multiple sclerosis has not been found is because the understanding of multiple sclerosis that researchers and physicians have is fundamentally wrong. The alternative theory, upheld by Drs. Peter Behan and Abhijit Chaudhuri states that multiple sclerosis is not caused by the immune system attacking myelin (as is commonly believed); instead, multiple sclerosis is caused by cells (called astrocytes) malfunctioning.

The thinking goes like this: the animal model of multiple sclerosis (which is used for treatment and drug development) is very different from the human experience of multiple sclerosis. In the animal model, the MS-like condition (in which the myelin indeed is attacked by the immune system) leads to death or disability, while in people the course of multiple sclerosis is much more varible (and only rarely leads to death). Therefore, claim the researchers, these are really two different diseases (with the further proof that, despite extensive research, these animal-based treatments do not "cure" MS).

Reactions to this theory vary, but most consider it an oversimplification of things and recent evidence of the impact of MS treatments on multiple sclerosis itself leads most researchers and physicians to believe we are "on the right track."

For the full-text article explaining this theory in more detail, see Abhijit Chaudhuri and Peter O Behan. "Multiple sclerosis: looking beyond autoimmunity." J R Soc Med, Jul 2005; 98: 303 - 306.

( I am SURE many have wondered, if they are being treated correctly)
.

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I ran across this while doing some research and, although it is a little old, thought it was interesting. Some experts think that the reason a cure for multiple sclerosis has not been found is because the understanding of multiple sclerosis that researchers and physicians have is fundamentally wrong. The alternative theory, upheld by Drs. Peter Behan and Abhijit Chaudhuri states that multiple sclerosis is not caused by the immune system attacking myelin (as is commonly believed); instead, multiple sclerosis is caused by cells (called astrocytes) malfunctioning.

The thinking goes like this: the animal model of multiple sclerosis (which is used for treatment and drug development) is very different from the human experience of multiple sclerosis. In the animal model, the MS-like condition (in which the myelin indeed is attacked by the immune system) leads to death or disability, while in people the course of multiple sclerosis is much more varible (and only rarely leads to death). Therefore, claim the researchers, these are really two different diseases (with the further proof that, despite extensive research, these animal-based treatments do not "cure" MS).

Reactions to this theory vary, but most consider it an oversimplification of things and recent evidence of the impact of MS treatments on multiple sclerosis itself leads most researchers and physicians to believe we are "on the right track."

For the full-text article explaining this theory in more detail, see Abhijit Chaudhuri and Peter O Behan. "Multiple sclerosis: looking beyond autoimmunity." J R Soc Med, Jul 2005; 98: 303 - 306.

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