The authors, Prof Compston and Coles of Cambridge, UK, concluded that axons were withering (transecting) due to a loss of trophic support from oligodendrocytes even in the absence of inflammation. ‘Trophic support’ describes the process whereby oligodendrocytes feed the axons substances necessary for their survival. Their first thoughts were that, by the time secondary progressive MS sets in, so many oligodendrocytes have been killed that a time-delayed progressive death of axons was inevitable.
Just in case someone else is as badly informed as me.
The guys rant is worth a read if you have a few minutes of spare time. It was way back in june 04