CategoryCauses

EBV or not

The umpteenth study on causality means very little if it is not scientifically plausible. This is core science, and it’s what real scientists work on. EBV infection has long been strong contender for the development of MS. But, how strong is this link? What does having had EBV as a teenager do to your biological makeup (i.e. endophenotype)? In a first study of its kind the Swedish group...

Not COVID-19: obesity and MS

Are you sick and tired of hearing about COVID-19 and MS? How about something completely different; the destigmatization of obesity?  Finally, the medical community or at least a part of it are making amends for the half-century or more of treating obesity as a disorder of self-control. The joint internal consensus statement for ending the stigma of obesity is long overdue (see article and...

Age is a compelling causal argument for MS

Fact – autoimmune disorders affect the young. Fact – the immune system ages with you as does rest of the body. Fact – MS is an autoimmune disorder. This week we find yet another study re-iterating the point that the evolution of MS lesions is an age-dependent phenomenon. This time using MRI head scans, in what is arguably one of the largest series published on the topic...

The genetic code

I like to think that we’re all more than some of our parts. But, our genetic code has us all fooled. Each and every cell has a genetic code that come to think of it probably has a lot more to say about our lives before, now and after than we’d truly like. We don’t debate that genetics have a role to play in the development of cancer, but MS has always proven to have a complex...

The COVID19 brain

Letter by British Rhinological Society and Ear, Nose & Throat UK Although severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has been the hallmark of severe COVID19 infection, anosmia (lack of smell) and hypogeusia (the reduced ability to taste), headaches/dizziness have also been reported. Is COVID19 neurotropic? We don’t have hard data to support/refute this beyond history from those so far...

HSCT is shifting the Bell curve

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer  ★ ★ ★ The good news is that the use of autologous HSCT to treat autoimmune diseases rose (by 19%) in the European Bone Marrow Transplant registry in 2018. Importantly, this rise was predominantly due to HSCT treatment for multiple sclerosis. This would indicate that at least at the very right of the bell curve there is increasing use of a more aggressive...

Iranian MS Hypothesis

Dear Professor Gavin Giovannoni Significant increase in the incidence of multiple sclerosis in Iran has been always puzzling. With strong evidence from Danish MS Registry (Nielson et all) early environment rather than ones genetic is the primary etiological agent for Multiple sclerosis. Iran was exposed to this agent much earlier than other Gulf countries. British and Russian troops invaded Iran...

NOSE-TO-BRAIN DIRECT

A guest post from Dr Frederick Gay, School of Life Sciences at the University of Essex, Colchester. “There- is- an- underground passage,”,said the Badger impressively,”that leads from the riverbank, quite near here, right up into the middle of Toad Hall.” O nonsence! said Toad rather airily, “You’ve been listening to some of the yarns they spin in the public houses about here.” Kenneth Grahame...

The effect of epilepsy on lifespan

Approximately 30% of the general population are expected to experience a fit at some stage of their life. The occurrence of repeated fits (or epilepsy) is less common, and is more likely if you have underlying brain injury or abnormalities in you brain waves (as demonstrated by the electroencephalogram or EEG). The risk of epilepsy, however, trebles when you have MS – affecting 3% of...

Your genes and you

Genetic studies in MS are a vast mountain and not simply a mound, with sample sizes ranging into the thousands. Climbers and mountaineers seek out free-standing mountains (i.e. mountains that are not part of a mountain range) as their relief from other peaks of equal height makes them an impressive sight to behold. The Matterhorn, Switzerland – a free-standing mountain Do genetic studies...

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