Doctors are very right to be timid about an MS dx. MS is not the only neurological condition out there, there are many others some of which have probably yet to be described or classified. I suspect that there are many who have been given a probable MS diagnosis who do not have MS at all.
I have a very close friend who has been told she has MS since her early 20s but a firm diagnosis has never been given. Recently, in an attempt to get a definitive answer she went through the MRI / Lumbar puncture routine again. All tests came back clear. What would you have the neuro do? Tell her she has MS anyway despite the lack of evidence or come clean and tell her that there is a problem but at the moment he just doesn't know what it is. In her case they have run out of tests, it is likely that she will never get an answer.
I feel terribly sorry for her but at the same time agree completely with the position that the neuro has taken. Until you know what you're dealing with how can you sanction the taking of potentially harmful medications? For example I read that one of the PML cases from the Tysabri trial probably didn't have MS at all. In effect this person died taking a medication for a disease that they didn't have!
As far as the letter from Mr McReady that Ian posted goes things are happening. There are treatments where people are recovering from MS, I'm one of them. Yes, they are still in trial and things are progressing slowly but that is the way that things must be done to avoid repetitions of the Tysabri debacle. In the UK next year 10 patients will undergo stem cell treatment to attempt to repair spinal cord injury damage. These things will go from strength to strength.
When I was diagnosed 6 years ago there were no treatments, you couldn't even get the interferons unless you paid for them yourself. Now hardly a day goes by without another drug trial being announced. The Boston cure project has just announced its first major milestone (congratulations Art). The future of stem cells is looking increasingly bright. We would all like a cure to be announced tomorrow but in leiu of that, comfort can be taken from the accelerating pace of discoveries.
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.