ANZAN W. Ian McDonald Memorial Lecture

I have just had a very enjoyable meeting in Darwin and want to thank the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) for being so hospitable and for inviting me to give several talks, in particular, the Ian McDonald memorial lecture. 

The following is my presentation that you can view as a slideshow or you can download from SlideShare. I have also provided the links for you to read about Ian McDonald.

W. Ian McDonald (1933-2006)

The primary objectives of my talk were (1) to celebrate W. Ian McDonald, (2) to make the case that MS is one disease and not two, or three, diseases and (3) that more advanced MS (formerly called progressive MS) is responsive to anti-inflammatory treatments. However, the latter response is relatively small and depends on reserve capacity, which is responsible for the recovery of function. This is why I stressed to the audience that they need to manage expectations about what to expect from DMTs in this population of people with more advanced MS. 

To read about Prof. W. Ian McDonald I suggest you read the following articles, which provides some context to the initial part of my talk/slides. 

1. Prof Giovannoni’s Medium Post – 4-minute read
2. Prof. Compston’s obituary in the Independent – 15-minute read
3. Prof. Compston’s Brain article – 60-minute read

Google Slide Show:

SlideShare PDF:


About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


  • With respect, but to be honest, I personally don't feel that your theories hold water too well. Not in my case. This length dependent hypothesis – perhaps it works well for those with a strong inflammatory component to their MS, but I don't believe that this has been the case for me, e.g. the pattern of my progression, i.e. the areas of the body affected; lack of strong relapse activity; no detectable optic neuritis, sense of smell acute ( It does not add up for me. I think progression is the core of MS, and while the unhelpful inflammation the immune system causes can make things worse, I do not believe that anti-inflammatories would help my MS. I'm looking for answers elsewhere.

    • At the individual level there are alwaysexceptions to any theory.

      We use anti-inflammatories to mean different things, in one persons view an anti-inflammatory can be a lymphocyte suppressing entity and in another world view it would be suppressing glial antivity and have nothing what so ever to do with lymphocytes

By Prof G



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