Just referring back to Bob's post on the previous page where he says that CCSVI is called a "theory" because it's not proven. I hope I'm not being pedantic when I say that technically (in science) EVERYTHING is a theory. The word "theory" has a specific definition that is different to what non-scientists expect.
Ideas start out as hypothesis and become theories when a way of falsifying them is found. You can never "prove" a theory because there are an infinite number of tests you could perform - to "prove" CCSVI causes MS would you have to test every living human (and perhaps every human who has ever lived). Clearly this is impossible, so in practice, you can only fail to disprove this theory.
The theory can be disproved by finding a single patient with CCSVI who doesn't have MS. The problem is that (a) CCSVI is a condition of cranial venous haemodynamics, a field which has been "poorly studied" (Dr Z's words) and therefore the testing procedures are new and require operator training; and (b) There does not appear to be a clear physiological definition of MS (correct me if I'm wrong). This means that it's going to be easy to falsify the theory simply through incompetence, or malice.
Unfortunately, for these reasons the CCSVI-causes-MS theory is likely to be contentious for years to come, even if it is correct - and I certainly hope it is, since I would like to be known as the guy who renamed MS to mean "Multiple Stenoses"
(and got his wife back)
Yes, this is something I delineated awhile ago, namely taking strict scientific regimes, and applying them to individual situations. Someone else stated in here about applying similiar mathematical "100% here or there" expectations to medicine, which as you well say, is not going to happen any time soon, and may NEVER happen, in regards to CCSVI.
Your point is very well stated, "unless we can PROVE that 100% of the people WITHOUT MS, DON'T have CCSVI, nothing will be categorically proven in this model". If even one person without MS has CCSVI, whatever the strict and as of yet, unknown precise criteria for that very thing is, then the theory will take a hit, but even then, I'm not so sure that will prove the opposite either, how do we KNOW that person (figurative person with CCSVI+No MS), won't develop MS symptoms/disease course later on?
So we are right back to square one, the individual. If an individual patient, decides that a high % corroboration is good enough to get tested, then finds what should be expected, and decides to pursue a course of correcting that, more power to them!
And somewhere in the world at that very moment, two scientists will be sitting in arm chairs, sipping brandy in front of a fireplace, arguing the academic particulars until they nod off into a deep slumber.
And that's okay, because Mr./Mrs. individual patient has just had the lights turned on, on the operating table when that fresh -oxygenated blood hit their brains, and they couldn't care less about those two snoozing/boozing scientists and whether the Theory Of The Day is "proven" or not....
Walking Test Tube.
RRMS Dx'd 2007, first episode 2004. Bilateral stent placement, 3 on left, 1 stent on right, at Stanford August 2009. Watch my operation video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwc6QlLVtko
, Virtually symptom free since, no relap