cheerleader wrote:...and this is why someone with over 20 white matter lesions and no gray matter atrophy, like my husband, can mountain bike and downhill ski. And why our friend with one white matter lesion, but severe gray matter atrophy, is no longer mobile.
MS is a very complex disease, there may be as many reasons why people have MS as there are people who have MS. The above statement from cheerleader may be somewhat misleading, although adequate perfusion as she points out is very important to brain health.
I have had MS for over 30 years now, I have more than 20 white matter lesions in my brain, and many in my brain stem and spinal cord. My MS has been confirmed by my primary neurologist, the UCSF MS clinic, and by the Neurology Center at Stanford. There is little doubt that I have MS.
I last snow skied in 2005 and stopped running in 1997, I no longer backpack or hike in the mountains, and no longer swim laps. I now use Ampyra to promote nervous signal transmission across demyelinated lesions to help with walking and lower body issues. My MS has continued to progress slowly across all this time.
I have no CNS atrophy in my brain or spinal cord.
My point is that there are many people who have had MS for MANY years and can still walk and manage there lives successfully. There is no proven means to correlate lesions to physical disability or specific symptoms.
May cheerleader's husband continue to walk and ski for many years, hopefully indefinitely. But the fact that he is still doing so less than 10 years after diagnosis is not in itself remarkable, or proof of any treatment related to MS.