I found it interesting because they raise the possibility that relapse and remission might be caused by waxing and waning attacks by the unidentified virus. I'm not saying that's the only possible reason for relapse and remission but that's the only reasonable reason I can imagine.
Sadly an unidentified virus can neither be proved or disproved at this point in time so this article is nothing more than food for speculation.
Ann Neurol. 2007 Apr 23; [Epub ahead of print]
A specific viral cause of multiple sclerosis: One virus, one disease.
* Lipton HL,
* Liang Z,
* Hertzler S,
* Son KN.
Departments of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine and Microbiology-Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.
"Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease," is heard so often that it is widely accepted as fact by the current generation of students and physicians. Yet, although it is undisputed that multiple sclerosis (MS) is immune mediated, an autoimmune mechanism remains unproven. Immune-mediated tissue damage can also result from viral infections in which the host immune response is directed to viral rather than self proteins, or as a consequence of nonspecific or bystander immune responses that change the local cytokine environment. Increasing evidence suggests that poorly controlled host immune responses account for much of the tissue damage in chronic infections, and it has been postulated that a similar mechanism may underlie many chronic diseases with features suggestive of an infectious causative factor, including MS. A recent study suggesting that oligodendrocyte death accompanied by microglial activation is the primary event in new MS lesion formation, rather than lymphocyte infiltration, could change the current mindset almost exclusively focused on autoimmunity. This review presents the rationale for considering MS a single disease caused by one virus, as well as the anticipated pattern of a persistent central nervous system infection, the application of Koch's postulates to viral discovery in MS as the causative agent, and tissue culture-independent genotypic approaches to viral discovery in MS. Ann Neurol 2007.