I’ve come to understand the process of progression by living and thinking in my own body. Some day a great Professor will stand up and say essentially the same thing. It really won’t be that difficult to treat MS once the process is understood as functional rather than bio-chemical.. Unfortunately, the bias in current research favours drug treatments and the Neurologists who will prescribe them.
Once I’ve rewritten my main paper I’m going to describe my idea of an ideal MS treatment center and spa.
HOW RRMS PROGRESSES TO SPMS
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”. He thus set the tone in the Neurology profession of an unfortunate prejudice 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 idea “went viral” when Italian Professor Paolo Zamboni published a paper on the Internet offering a medical 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. These blood “refluxes” 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.
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.”
PPMS patients are not included in MS drug research and treatment because both target the myelin damaging inflammation of RRMS. Now, if an entire subset of patients is excluded from research because they do not conform to the auto-immune theory of MS, maybe the theory itself is suspect.
Eventually RRMS may evolve into Secondary Progressive MS, meaning it resembles the primary form. I repeat. “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.”
What does this imply to me? It implies that the driving factor in progressive MS is no longer centered in obstructed venous blood flow but in a damaged spine and obstructed cerebro-spinal fluid circulation.
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.)
Eventually the body rigidity/muscle spasms deform and damage the spine. As muscles weaken and atrophy the entire body structure is compromised leading to obstructed cerebrospinal circulation and direct pressure on the spinal cord. At this point it is no longer the blood reflux inflammation which “wound” the nerves so much as lesions and cerebrospinal fluid obstructions which impact the spine. We now have SPMS and increasing issues with mobility. Ideally MSers should turn to functional healers – Osteopaths and Chiropractors - who can manipulate the head/cervicals/full length of the spine to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and free the cerebro-spinal fluid. Physical Therapists and Massage Therapists can provide fluidity and movement so vital to overcoming the natural tendency to rigidity.
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. I can see that had I known about CCSVI and followed the advice on this site 25 years ago, I wouldn’t need a cane today and needn’t worry now about the increasing rigidity in my spine.
I can also understand why “liberation therapy” (angioplasty) works best in the early RRMS phase when stenosed veins are the primary problem and treatment “liberates” the blood flow. 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, while angioplasty might be of help in relieving some symptoms, attention should focus on treating lesions on the spine.
Tags: Multiple Sclerosis, MS, treatment, CCSVI, RRMS, PPMS, SPMS, Dr. Zamboni,