One comment today has asked if we look at the use of  soap and whether this correlates with MS.

I guess the list of possibilities are endless, and if you do enough analysis you will find associations (for some weird ones click here)

We have to be careful how we use statistics

“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts… for support rather than illumination.” – Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

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  • There actually is a theoretical mechanism of action for a link between hygeine and multiple sclerosis…namely regulation of the immune system by exposure to foreign antigens and induction of a Th2 response or induction of regulatory CD 25+ t cells. I would be interested in the correlation between germophobia, inadvertent dirt consumption, and fruit washing with multiple sclerosis. Perhaps we should tell our patients to walk around barefoot in the back yard and pick up fallen tree fruits off the ground to eat them directly. The incidence of MS in africa is low, but the incidence of MS among african americans in southern california kaiser permanente members is about 1:1000. The difference could be hygeine, diet, better diagnostics, or some combination of the 3.

  • "For the weird ones, click here"
    Thank you MouseDoctor – this was the best laugh I've had in ages – what a wonderful bunch of potential April Fools Day press releases lurking on that website
    For anyone who didn't "click here" please do so – laughter is the best medicine………

  • Re. "One comment today has asked if we look at the use of soap and whether this correlates with MS".

    If this is regarding my comment that many females use quite a lot of beauty products, not only soap. There are many synthetic (and sometimes harmful) chemicals in perfume, sunblocks,cosmetics, shampoos and household cleaning products….. What do these products do to our bodies. There was a documentary on TV by Cherry Healey about these products and questioned this.

    • There's also hair dyes, facial moisturiser (often with added SPF sun protection), body lotions. Some women are concerned about sun damage, wrinkles and ageing if they don't use these. I contacted a cosmetic company a few months ago regarding their range of tinted moisturiser for the face with added SPF sun protection, foundation make up with SPF protection. I asked them if they would consider making it without SPF as there's not the option in that range, I'm still wating for a reply. I noticed one foundation had added SPF 35 (near sun block).

      I spoke with another MSer about these cosmetics with added SPF, she said she never thought of them in that way before. I know women that wear facial moisturiser with SPF, then have a full face of make up with foundation with SPF, then powder on top. They drive to work, spend a day behind a computer at a desk, drive home, go to the gym twice a week, shop at the shopping mall at the weekends. They don't like going for walks outside much. I wonder about their vitamin D levels. Mens grooming products have SPF in too sometimes.

    • Dear Prof G, I've been looking into mens grooming products with SPF. One mens online magazine advises:
      It's not news that premature aging to the skin and wrinkles are caused by exposure to the sun. Skin cancer risk is also significantly increased. However, sun damage is avoidable by making sure you use sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. So part of your daily skin care regime should include using a moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher all year-round, even on cloudy days. The page then shows seven different moisturisers with SPF 15 to 45.

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