Charcot Tapestry

Today at MS Life 2012 the Charcot Tapestries were unveiled.

Panel One the Brain of an MSer

                                                  Panel Two-The Healthy Brain

                                 Panel Three-The Early Lesion

  Panel Four-The Damage and Scar

The Lesions

 Panel Four-The Repair

Pop along to MS life if you want to see them

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  • It's very possible that it's just me, but is understanding of this stuff moving forward quickly? Or is it just the communication that's getting better?

    I swear that just two years ago I was reading simplistic descriptions of MS that said it was a "break down" of the blood brain barrier and that the immune system was broken. Somehow the white blood cells were getting into the brain and they should never be there. Now it's more clear that the immune system is relatively fine but something is going on in the brain that needs repair and parts of the repair process have bad side effects.

    Two years ago it seemed that remyelination was only a theoretical possibility and now it's assumed to be happening.

    A year ago I remember reading my first article about how astrocytes might play a role in MS now it seems like that role is understood to a much greater extent.

    Since I'm relatively new to this I don't know, is it just that I understand it better now or has the whole science of MS improved that much over a short period in time?

  • I wish I could see this.

    Is the bright red blob in Panel Three the active lesion?
    What are the red cells? They aren't there in the previous healthy brain panel.

  • I'm surprised that the basics of the science behind MS are so hard to come by. It's good that you're doing these tapestries.

    I have a question about the blood brain barrier issue. If you believe in a viral hypothesis, isn't it more likely that the bbb isn't damaged and is in fact working exactly correctly when it lets white blood cells through?

    Why do people talk about the bbb being damaged?

  • The blood brain barrier is a relative barrier. It is geared to limit immune cell and blood product entry into the brain .
    The brain lacks the machinery to facilitate the initiation of the immune response. But once the immune system has been activated in the past then the barrier provides no real barrier and immune cells can enter the brain.

    Normally the barrier does not let things into the brain and we talk about the BBB being damaged when things are entering the brain but it is not damage but an altered activation state of the blood vessel

    We say damage because we can see that there is MRI activity associated with leakiness such as gadolinium enhancement during periods of excaserbation. In animals clinical episodes can be definately shown to correlate with periods when cells and blood products pass from blood into the brain.

    It is less apparent because generally people survive the relapse and so it is difficult to relate pathology to MRI changes during relapse. But there are a few instances when this is reported to occur. This is the basis behind use of tysabri.

    In autoimmunity this is a clear relationship because entry of cells into the brain would be considered my many to be bad.

    However within the context of a viral hypothesis, if there is a virus then killing of the virus could be good and this may require the blood brain barrier to break down to allow cells in, to the kill the virus.

    Maybe better to thick of function and dysfunction rather than damage because the blood vessle is not injured but exists in analtered state

  • Thank you so much for your answer. I have to remind myself that you don't exist to be my own private tutor in biology. This site really does get me excited about learning more. It's very nice of you to interact with patients like this.

    One of the reasons I think CCSVI has become so big is that education of MS patients has been so bad. When CCSVI showed up claiming a cure with little or bad science, MS patients had nothing to compare it to. They were ready to pay up to $10,000 for a procedure based on anecdotal evidence. I've personally witnessed the tragedy of a desperate person who after an hour discussion is practically ready to hand over their life savings.

    From doctors and scientists, patients got almost nothing, and at least the CCSVI people listened and talked to them, visited support groups, etc. So of course, do you trust the people who are willing to talk to you, or do you trust the people who practically ignore you and charge lots of money for the privilege? (I really like my neurologist, but a short visit once every three months is hardly an education.)

    I'm not aware of every blog, but I have yet to find another "expert" blog that's as interactive with patients as this one. I hope you have started something here and there is a shift in the way neurologists and researchers think in that they start talking about the science with patients. It's not an easy interaction always, but that's partially because patients are starved for attention. 🙂 I see that in myself.

    I don't think any patient expects to understand all the details of the latest research, but I think many people want to understand the basic science which can protect them against scams of all sorts and maybe even give them hope.

  • Re "I've personally witnessed the tragedy of a desperate person who after an hour discussion is practically ready to hand over their life savings."

    We must keep in mind than life savings mean nothing without a life.

    Re "It's very nice of you to interact with patients like this."

    Matt, I'commented on your blog about this. Delete it if you want, but please give the link a chance. I think you will appreciate both the interaction and the science.

  • Matt Did you Remove your Last Post?

    We saw it in the Spam and then after it was marked as non-spam it posted, but then it vanished.

    We did not do it. Did you?

  • I got an email of it but it never showed up on the blog. I thought you had removed and was thankful actually since I felt it was not my best comment ever, a bit too much.

    I'm honestly going through a bit of a tough time with regard to communicating about MS. Sometimes telling "the truth" is freeing and sometimes it just makes you feel bad. Sometimes it turns out not to be the truth at all. Sometimes things you say come from anger or desperation that you didn't realize you had until after you've said them. It can be a comment or a blog post or an actual discussion. It's very stressful to learn about your own issues publicly.

    My ability to sling technology gives me a platform to talk about MS issues, but sometimes I feel I don't use it wisely. I needed to reset. This is my second reset actually. MS is hard. Sorry for the self centered comment.

  • OK I will not delve further or resurrect your comment, the ball is in your court if you want to repost or edit and post or not post….but this is second time this week that something has disappeared which is disturbing.

    I guess this really is Sleepless in Seattle…looking at the time you posted.

    Best wishes

    P.S. If anyone else has posted and it has not appeared let us know…..This is only open to people using a name as we know there are lots of anonymous in spam, or should I call it the troll bin.

By MouseDoctor



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