A mechanism is proposed that may explain the factors that initiate a multiple sclerosis (MS) lesion. It is based upon the following two hypotheses: (i) there is a lower stimulus threshold for upregulating the mechanisms that result in leukocyte infiltration in individuals predisposed to developing MS; (ii) the MS lesion is initiated as a reduction in blood flow to a localized region of white matter. This reduction in blood flow leads to: (a) degenerative white matter changes affecting oligodendrocytes; (b) upregulation of chemokines in the endothelial cells and/or glial cells; and (c) upregulation of cell adhesion molecules on endothelial cells. Signals from the hypoxemic and hypoglycemic glial cells, likely involving myelin molecules and cytokines, result in an inflammatory immune response that results in rampant demyelination. Evidence supporting the proposed mechanism is presented, as well as suggestions on how to test the validity of the proposal.
from the Juurlink paper: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9824835
I think this may be significant. We've focused on the lack of oxygen in the brain. But what else does the brain need? Glucose. Huge amounts of glucose.
This paper is from a neurologist with stroke and MS experience, so someone who straddles the two disciplines.
So if blood flow slows down both the oxygen and the glucose to the brain, it's a double whammy. Our brain cells are starving and suffocating. Not just suffocating.
What happens in anorexia when the brain is starving? If it can't get glucose, it converts some of the fat in myelin into glucose, creating ketones as a by-product. Atrophy of the brain is an eventual result.
We see atrophy of the brain in MS.
I am not suggesting we have anorexic bodies, but that we may have anorexic brains.
So what might help, other than the obvious (getting the venoplasty procedure)? Maintaining even blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar levels would probably be ok; what you don't want is that dip to low blood sugar levels. Exercise but not too hard. Follow the Best Bet Diet. Think like a diabetic and carry a candy bar with in case your blood sugar drops. Eat more frequent, smaller meals with protein and fat to help everything digest at a nice even pace.
We are all caretakers of the bodies and brain we were given, even if they were fixer-uppers right from the start, they're all we've got....