An article to be published Friday (Dec. 23) in the December 2011 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology argues that multiple sclerosis, long viewed as primarily an autoimmune disease, is not actually a disease of the immune system. Dr. Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, suggests instead that MS is caused by faulty lipid metabolism, in many ways more similar to coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) than to other autoimmune diseases.
Framing MS as a metabolic disorder helps to explain many puzzling aspects of the disease, particularly why it strikes women more than men and why cases are on the rise worldwide, Corthals says. She believes this new framework could help guide researchers toward new treatments and ultimately a cure for the disease.
CCSVI only "treats" (I use the term loosely) one aspect of multiple sclerosis, which is restenosis (or narrowing of the blood vessels). Therefore, since MS itself is not treated, the chances of relapse and failure of the procedure in the long term are very high. The problem with CCSVI is that it is fairly unregulated, and there has been no serious clinical trials. There are, to date, no reliable statistics on the benefits or potential harm of the procedure in the long term. More worrying is that the MD who first came up with the procedure, Dr. Zamboni, is now cautioning against it, worried about the procedure's lack of regulation around the world.
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