The French Neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, practicing at the Parisian la Pitié-Salpetrière hospital, first described Multiple Sclerosis (Sclérose en Plaques) in 1868. Among other things, he defined MS as a “rigidity disorder”. Unfortunately, he thus set the tone in the Neurology profession of cruel arrogance towards MS patients by claiming their “rigidity” symptoms were psychological in origin - signs of neurotic (usually female) hysteria.
I now believe it is just this rigidity which is at the root of MS progression, but its origin is physiological, NOT psychological. Damaged nerves send “misfired” signals to the muscles which cramp and/or go into spasms. As the nervous system degenerates, the body becomes increasingly rigid, compressed as it is by muscles in spasm. And it is just this rigidity which triggers the process damaging to the central nervous system.
Let’s backtrack a bit.
As early as 1863 the Swiss pathologist George Edward Rindfleisch observed that MS lesions clustered around the brain’s draining veins. Disparate testimonies of this phenomena continued to surface thereafter, but it was only in 2008 that the Italian Professor Paolo Zamboni published a paper on the Internet offering an explanation. He described a condition he has named CCSVI in which venous blood “refluxes” into the Central Nervous System (CNS) owing to stenosed or damaged veins. As a variation on the same idea, Dr. Owiesy of Los Angeles has suggested that a disregulated Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) triggers spasms in the smooth muscles of these same veins. The ensuing blood back jets injure the tissue which leads to inflammation of the myelin sheath and an immune system response. These early “attacks” describe relapse/remission MS (RRMS). Dr. Zamboni has thus discovered the origin of the “wound” which triggers the immune response. (He recommends angioplasty to enlarge the stenosed veins. Dr. Owiesy suggests the administration of a mixture of dexmethasone/lidocaine/thiamine in the perivenous space to release the spasms.)
Progressive MS presents the exception. My brief synopsis derived from MS UK’s site reads
“Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) concerns about 10 to 15% of MS cases. In contrast to RRMS (Relapse Remission) cases, the disease progresses continually without respite after striking an older population (age 40’ and 50’s). Unlike RRMS, there is little to no inflammation, there are fewer brain lesions, the lesions which do exist present fewer inflammatory cells, and more are found on the spinal cord than in the brain which leads to mobility problems. While PPMS cases exhibit less inflammation, there appears to be greater damage to the axons.”
Eventually RRMS may evolve into Secondary Progressive MS which resembles the primary form.
What does this imply to me? The driving factor in progressive MS is no longer centered in obstructed venous blood flow but obstructed cerebro-spinal fluid circulation and a damaged spine which impedes communication between the autonomic nervous system and the brain.
And here we can understand the MS positive feedback loop.
MS venous blood circulation is deficient for any number of reasons. A stress attack can trigger the blood “reflux” into the central nervous system (brain/spine) which inevitably damages the nerves. When the nerves are damaged, muscles cramp up, perhaps go into spasms. As the body freezes up, fluid circulation (blood/cerebrospinal fluid) slows setting the stage for the slightest stress event to trigger another “attack”. Thus each “attack” triggers muscle cramps and body rigidity which in turn sets the stage for more attacks. (I include ANY illness and/or toxicity as stress events. Also, poor blood circulation in the brain persists apart from occasional relapses so constant effort must be made to release body tension and blood/cerebrospinal fluid circulation.)
Diet? Inflammatory foods such as glutens, milk, sugar as well as toxicity and the Epstein Barr herpes virus (EBV) cause cellular inflammation which releases stores of calcium leading to cramps/spasms in skeletal muscles as well as smooth muscles of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). Dr Owiesy has expanded on Dr. Zamboni’s theory by suggesting that spasms in these smooth muscles of the brain’s draining veins trigger the blood back jets which injure the brain.
Eventually the body rigidity/muscle spasms damage the spine by literally pulling the vertebrae out of alignment to obstruct the free flow of CSF cerebro-spinal fluid. Worse, communication is disrupted between the brain and the ANS Autonomic Nervous System (involuntary control of internal organs, heart rate, digestion, bladder and bowel function, respiratory rate, papillary response, vasomotor action on the blood vessels) which operates through the spine. At this point while the blood reflux inflammation continues to “wound” the CNS, the trauma to the myelin sheath in the spinal cord triggers anarchy in signalization of the ANS to the brain. We now have SPMS and increasing issues with mobility as well as loss of general body function.
Obviously this implies that at the onset of RRMS one should make every effort to enhance blood/cerebrospinal fluid circulation through the brain/spinal cord in order to stop the blood “reflux” and the attendant muscle spasms/rigidity. One must also limit cellular inflammation (eliminate glutens, other inflammatory foods while enhancing the immune system through diet/supplements/oxygen). “Liberation therapy” (angioplasty) works best in the early RRMS phase when stenosed veins are the primary problem and treatment “liberates” the blood flow. (This is probably true also for Dr. Owiesy’s treatment.) One has thus prevented the wound. Once Progression sets in, there is little to no inflammation which implies that the veins are no longer the primary issue. In that case attention should focus on treating lesions on the spine. And since drug therapy focuses on the inflammation, none is proposed for Progressive MS. At this point therapies which enhance mobility in the spine (Pilates, Yoga, massage) may help maintain communication between the ANS and brain.
I will continue the following treatments with increasing attention to maintaining flexibility in the spine, overcoming body rigidity as well as nourishing the grey matter of the brain.
THE SIX STEPS TO MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS HEALTH
“Dr. Hyman explains his 10 day detox diet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgcGlei_JLo
want2bike (From Thisisms.com)
I had the advice/assistance of a kinesiologist/nutritionist and won’t myself suggest a detox protocol. Dr. Hyman maintains that a simple diet change over 10 days will do the trick (or at least be a beginning) which is something anyone can try. So why not?
2. OPTIMAL NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTS
3. ENHANCE BLOOD/CEREBROSPINAL FLUID CIRCULATION - CCSVI -
Simple blood/cerebrospinal fluid circulation thérapies such massage, acupuncture, neuro-muscular electrical stimulation, osteopathy, or swimming may suffice. I do daily Tens self acupressure treatments to stay afloat and try to get an acupuncture or osteopathic treatment once a month. Dr. Owiesy’s idea of administration of dexmethasone/lidocaine/thiamine to the perivenous space may suffice. A serious venous blockage may require ANGIOPLASTY whose effectiveness, unfortunately, is limited without stents to prevent re-stenosis. Prior to taking that decision, one might consult a specialist in skeletal disorders (e.g. Chiropractors or Osteopaths) to be certain a bone or muscle is not obstructing the vein. (FONAR MRI).
4. SUNLIGHT OR UV RAYS on the skin at least 15 minutes daily to release Nitric Oxide essential to vascular health and blood circulation.
5. The homeopathic remedy OSCILLOCOCCINUM by Boiron works wonders to stop (or attenuate the effects of) viruses. I could have avoided so much grief over a lifetime had this been available to me.
6. EXERCISE BUILD UP PROGRESSIVELY (Consulting a Physical Therapist can help) Scott1 recommends Pilates and Yoga.
TAGS: Multiple Sclerosis, CCSVI, Dr Jean-Martin Charcot, Dr Zamboni, Dr Owiesy, Autonomic Nervous System, Angioplasty, Pilates, Yoga