You hit on the million dollar question there. And, unfortunately, there's not a good answer. (I think it goes to how little is known about MS, despite all the man-hours and dollars spent on research.)
It's true with the DMD's you're not going to really know if they're making a difference. You could inject Betaseron for the next 20 years and not have another relapse. But, at the end of those 20 years, you won't really be able to say if it was the Betaseron that did the trick. Some people decide not to take a DMD and do just fine. The problem is, without a way to look into the future, you won't know if you're one of those people.
Many decide against using one of the injectables, and the reasons vary. Some have looked at the data and decided that the data just isn't strong enough to justify their use. Others suffer bad side effects or complications. Some still have relapses and get worse even while taking a DMD. And, sadly, some just can't afford them.
If none of the above apply in your particular case, maybe it's worth trying the Betaseron. All of the DMD's do have clinical data showing a reduction in relapses (even if it is pretty underwhelming). And you can always decide to opt out later. True, these drugs are meant to be used indefinitely. But, one way to look at it, is your buying time until something better comes along. CCSVI might be it. But there are other possibilities, too. Campath is well into its phase 3 trial and has shown good results (though not in everyone). And the protocol used in the these trials is 2 infusions, spaced a year apart - not an indefinite infusion schedule.
I'd say try everything you can to keep the MS at bay until a better answer comes along. This might include not only a DMD, but also vitamin D, diet, antioxidants, etc.
Of course, this is only my 2 cents, which might only be worth half that...
Last edited by patientx
on Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:23 am, edited 1 time in total.