Robin / Dignan,
I really hope that these discussions are taking place among the MS researchers. It's pretty sad that those of us with this disease are suggesting theories / making links etc.
My theory is that this disease starts with a virus (probably EBV) and that an odd immune system response (in those with a genetic susceptibility) leads to the cascade of events we call MS. Perhaps other viruses also contribute and may explain the different disease courses and rates of progression.
I will be starting Rebif soon as the neuro I saw at the Institute of Neurology told me to 'do something' i.e. start one of the DMDs. He mentioned that research pointed to atrophy being less for those taking a DMD.
If a virus is the trigger / underlying cause there is not much that can be done at the moment in terms of ridding the virus from our systems. And this may be too late if the real issue is that the virus causes our immune systems to go wrong which then damages our CNS etc etc.
On the BBC website today, there was a piece about a vaccine for cervical cancer which is caused by a virus - it's the immune system's inability to deal with the virus that results in the cancer. This may not be directly relevant to MS but it's clear that the immune system has to be altered to stop the resulting disease.
Hopefully, as more is found out about the immune system there will be better therapies to get it back to normal.