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Simple, eh? Part 2

Posted Jan 15 2009 7:50pm
I started to respond to a couple of comments on my last post but it got too long. So, instead, another post:

Contrary to what we heard in the 60s, space is not the final frontier; our brains are the final frontier. We just don't know enough about those 3 pounds of tissue yet.

The term white matter derives from the apparent colour of myelin, different from gray matter in that gray matter has no myelin. Gray matter is the thinking part of our brain, fondly referred to by Hercule Poirot in all those Agatha Christie who-dun-its. The reason everyone's MS is so different is because the white matter in our brains is wired slightly differently for everyone. While there are general centres pretty much the same for everyone, the connections to and from those centres are different. White matter is the connective wiring between those centres and the rest of the brain. As we grow and are exposed to different environmental factors (nutrition, illness, and experiences) that wiring becomes slightly different for everyone. And MS is generally a disease of the white matter.

There is a line of thought that MS may be a couple of different diseases, but the general consensus is that it is a disease of degrees. Just as some people with pneumonia have different degrees of symptoms and responses to medication, so it is with MS. It is the degrees of difference that makes it all that much harder to figure out the puzzle. And that also makes it harder for the non-MS public to understand.

I have said before, the best thing we can do for our MS is to provide the optimal environment for our brains through exercise, nutrition, and mental stimulation. For some of us, that involves physiotherapy, yoga , biking, walks, sudoku, painting, playing a musical instrument, or vitamin supplements.

Our previous health may have an impact on our MS, there's no doubt. There is also no doubt that our physical world impacts our mental world and that in turn affects our physical world. One of those vicious circle things. And remember, too, that everyone's perception is slightly different. What I consider a nuisance, another might find debilitating. What I consider painful, another may find only a minor ache. That's why my MS is different from yours.

MS is a disease that causes a complex reaction in the CNS. But I feel that it is a simple disease. MS is, in simple terms, destruction of myelin. It is the subsequent result of that destruction that makes MS seem more complex. Figure out what destroys the myelin, and you have figured out what causes MS. Then you can figure out how to stop the destruction. Simple, eh?


S.
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