Lyon wrote: MS remains almost unheard of in a huge percentage of the world's population
That's a sobering thought Lyon. As I'm sure you know, I'm always trying to put all these jigsaw pieces together. I'm a great believer in the "strain" theory of illness, which is based on comparing the human body to a machine, i.e. if you put undue stress or strain on a particular organ, structure or system in the human body - disease often follows. In other words if a severe or chronic strain is placed on the liver, heart, eyes, ears, muscles or stomach, don't be surprised if normal functioning ends and disease sets in. Why should the brain be any different?
The strain theory is disliked by doctors and researchers these days simply because it is notoriously hard to measure. Modern thinking in medicine prefers to explain lllness in terms of congenital flaws, bacteria, viruses or toxins. Researchers start scratching their heads once this list is thoroughly exhausted and are extremely cautious about explaining any illness in terms of strain, stress, unnatural diet or anything else that may begin to place an unnatural burden (mental or physical) on the human body.
Although congenital defects and virusues may be involved in MS (and other neurological illnesses) we should not keep dismissing the possibility that strain or stress is a factor in the pathology. For the last two hundred odd years people in the modern, western world have been locked in analytical thought and self awareness habits that they rarely switch off. They cannot break free from this ‘addiction’ to thought. I believe that the brain was simply not designed for this kind of non-stop mental activity and it can somehow make the nerves and white matter vulnerable to damage. My theory is that the white matter in the brain is somehow overused in modern times - and that in some individuals stress laden thoughts somehow weaken or damaging the very tissue from which they originate
. The white matter of the brain is like a switchboard ferrying information from one region of the brain to another. Chronically overused circuitry goes into meltdown, so maybe brain tissue prefers us to think like our ancestors did.
I am not saying that stress is the only cause of MS, just that it may be a crucial factor in initiating the disease, explaining why it is so widespread in certain regions of the world.
Sorry for going off topic a bit...