Is my disability due to my previous hobbies?

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Is my disability due to my previous hobbies?

Postby Uprightnbreathin » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:06 am

My previous hobbies included running with scissors, playing in traffic, sticking my tongue into the fan blade, and ofcourse playing good cop/bad cop with my ex. My disability is Multiple Sclerosis. Is this why I have MS?
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Postby LisaBee » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:12 am

I don't think any of your previous hobbies have yet been associated with developing MS in any published study. However, there is always a first case report that could then trigger more case reports, a case series, perhaps a case control study, and who knows where the arena of MS epidemiology could go from there.
Just think of a neurologist, sitting in his office, giving out MS diagnoses in the course of his work week. Every one of them lists your hobbies and asks whether any of them is the possible cause...
:wink:
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Re: Is my disability due to my previous hobbies?

Postby Lyon » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:53 am

Uprightnbreathin wrote:My previous hobbies included running with scissors, playing in traffic, sticking my tongue into the fan blade, and ofcourse playing good cop/bad cop with my ex. My disability is Multiple Sclerosis. Is this why I have MS?
:lol: :lol: Those things are still my hobbies and I don't have MS!

For the impressionable youngsters out there who might be reading this, don't do as we've done, do as we say. Heed your Mom's advice!

In seriousness, people listening to their Mom's when they were told that "cleanliness is next to Godliness" quite possibly led to the incidence of autoimmune diseases in the developed countries.

Bob
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Postby AllyB » Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:04 am


In seriousness, people listening to their Mom's when they were told that "cleanliness is next to Godliness" quite possibly led to the incidence of autoimmune diseases in the developed countries.



Bob - Everyone knows that cleanliness is next to Godliness only in an Irish dictionary (i can say this as I was born in Ireland!). I must have been a really grubby kid - I had my own horse (just an old nag - no nasty comments, please) for a few years, so was good at mucking out stables from a young age, also spent many weekends and hols on my Uncle's (small) dairy farm in County Tyrone, drinking unpastuerised milk and generally getting very mucky - lots of cow dung...! However, not much sunshine (vit D) - we have seen a big increase in childhood asthma here in SA, which the allergists have linked to how clean our kids are now. Interestingly (maybe not), my sister has Grave's Disease, which is also an autoimmune disorder, associated with an over-active thyroid gland, but my neuro dismissed any link between her disease and mine...Any thoughts?

Regards, and forget the turkey remark, please....
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Common thread to ALL autoimmune diseases

Postby lyndacarol » Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:27 pm

Ally, you wrote:
Interestingly (maybe not), my sister has Grave's Disease, which is also an autoimmune disorder, associated with an over-active thyroid gland, but my neuro dismissed any link between her disease and mine...Any thoughts?


My thought? There is absolutely a link! Dr. Noel Rose of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association wrote an article a couple years ago in which he stated his belief in a "common thread."

I do not subscribe to the "autoimmune" theory, but believe those 80+ diseases are connected.
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Postby Lyon » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:03 pm

AllyB wrote: Interestingly (maybe not), my sister has Grave's Disease, which is also an autoimmune disorder, associated with an over-active thyroid gland, but my neuro dismissed any link between her disease and mine...Any thoughts?
Just my opinion, but there are more and more who agree,
if the increased incidence of asthma, allergy and autoimmune disease really is owed to the "loss of evolutionary normal conditions" as I'm convinced it is and as it's proving true, all the "different" autoimmune/inflammatory diseases share a common cause, which in a way means that they should all respond to the same treatment, if aimed at a primary enough level. The fact that allergies and asthma are considered to be mediated by "opposing" Th responses than autoimmune disease, yet all seem to be equally modulated when parasites are introduced to the system seems to prove that out.

The only real justification for the autoimmune diseases being historically considered separate entities is due to the way they were discovered (separately and one at a time) and the way medical treatment is set up (skin problems go to dermatologists, brain problems go to neurologists, intestinal problems go to gastroenterologists).

Immunologists have long been aware of the commonalities of the autoimmune diseases but even though MS is the realm of neurologists, immunology is not the realm of neurologists and that has played a big part in the "mysteries" of MS. Now I've blabbed for so long that I've forgotten what the original point was :oops:

AllyB wrote:Regards, and forget the turkey remark, please....
I'm hurt that you think that I would stoop so low as to use that against you! No apologies please, I'm going to heave if I hear any more apologies for a while!

Seriously, I was going to suggest that you deep fry the turkeys to keep the heat out of the house. I've never had deep fried turkey but the guys I work with love it and a turkey takes like 20 minutes as opposed to many hours in the oven.

Bob
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Postby AllyB » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:51 pm

Hi LyndaCarol & Bob

Thanks very much for the input - I would very much like to learn more about this and to explore possible links - are you aware of any particularly informative articles or websites, just off hand?
Maybe the article by Dr. Noel Rose? Or any immunology articles specifically exploring a commonality between "autoimmune" diseases?

LyndaCarol, pardon my ignorance, if you don't think that ms is an autoimmune disease, which theory do you find more plausible? I am still getting educated and haven't an informed opinion as yet and would be interested in yours....

Bob - should we be consulting immunologists instead of neurologists? In your opinion, what would be the primary level that treatment should be aimed at?

Deep-fried turkey? Is that a USA speciality, because I have never in my life heard of it - where do you get a fryer big enough? How does it cook all the way through, without burning on the outside? I am probably asking questions of the wrong person - as you haven't eaten it, I suppose you wouldn't have actually made either? I am sure you are pulling my leg - getting me back for my rotten turkey comment - you are way too clever to OPENLY hold it against me, but this is sneaky :lol:
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Postby Lyon » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:12 pm

AllyB wrote: Deep-fried turkey? Is that a USA speciality, because I have never in my life heard of it - where do you get a fryer big enough? How does it cook all the way through, without burning on the outside?
:lol: While I admit that I'm an awesome straight faced liar, I'm being completely honest right now. It's not really a tradition but is getting more and more popular, at least here in the states.

I think, like the damned bar-b-que grill it's a scam by the women to get men to take more of the cooking off their hands, as men usually "man" the grill and, since these turkey cookers seem to often catch fire and necessitate beer drinking and outdoor use, us guys usually "man" them also. They aren't expensive and are nothing but a huge deep fryer powered by a big propane torch.

Come to think of it, a huge rocket sounding burner, the risk of a REALLY BIG fire, cold beer and burnt food. I need to get me one of those things!

This is the article that my dear Lynda referred to. No one should be allowed to have MS without first reading this article....no, seriously.

This http://www.aarda.org/articles.php link takes you to the list of "In Focus" articles, there is a link to the homepage of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association at the bottom of the page.

The Common Thread
Noel R. Rose, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, AARDA National Scientific Advisory Board, Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Pathology The Johns Hopkins University
The topic that Mrs. Ladd has asked me to discuss with you this afternoon is "Autoimmune Diseases: How Are They Related?" It is a very good topic because it forced me to think about the question.

First, what do we mean by autoimmunity or autoimmune disease? Were all familiar with the term immunity now that AIDS has become so prominent. To encapsulate the word, it means, essentially, resistance to disease. Usually we are speaking of infectious disease, and immunity comes through experience with the disease. If weve had mumps as children, we know that we are not susceptible to a second episode of mumps. We say that we are immune to mumps. If we have chicken pox as children, we know that we are immune to chicken pox, generally, for the rest of our lives. If we have measles as children, we know that we do not get measles a second time. If we are vaccinated or immunized, we acquire our immunity through an artificial means. Children will be vaccinated against polio; they will be vaccinated against diphtheria and tetanus. Therefore, we can acquire immunity, either through natural exposure to the disease or through artificial means, such as vaccination. Originally, then, immunity, was thought of as the body way of defending itself against disease.

One of the basic precepts of immunity, going back to the very early days of the 20th century, has been that if immunity is going to benefit us, it has to be directed to something foreign, something outside of the body. So it has always been a precept of immunologists that the immune response only concerns foreign material. When I began in this field--40 years ago--almost everyone believed that immunity could be directed exclusively against foreign materials. That idea implies that there is some mechanism by which the body can distinguish what is itself from what is not itself--we now say the immune response shows self, non-self discrimination.

What happened about 40 years ago? Well, a number of key discoveries were made--some of them in my own laboratory--which turned that doctrine of self, non-self distinction on its head. We found that there are a number of instances in which the immune response is directed to something in the body of the host itself. It seemed implausible, even contradictory; but, in fact, that was exactly what we found: there are some circumstances where the immune response attacks the body of the host itself. The host may be an animal or it may be a human patient. That is what we call autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is nothing more than the immune response directed to the body of the patient himself or herself.

Let me define a second term for you, autoimmune disease. These two terms do not mean exactly the same thing, and the difference may be important to us as we talk about some of these issues a little later this afternoon. Autoimmune disease is a disorder that occurs because of autoimmunity--a disease that is caused by an immune response to the body of the patient himself or herself.

Now, in defining autoimmune disease that way, I imply that there is autoimmunity without autoimmune disease. In fact, we now know that autoimmunity is not at all uncommon and that it exists in all of us. Every one of us has some degree of autoimmunity naturally, and it does not seem to do us any harm. It is, in fact, only a minority of cases where autoimmunity actually produces damage in the body, producing disease. So there are really two basic questions that I, as an investigator, and my colleagues in this field need to unravel.

First question is: How does autoimmunity arise? What causes the body to produce an immune response to itself? What are the circumstances, what are the mechanisms, what are the triggers for the phenomenon that we call autoimmunity? That one question. That a very basic question that involves biology, chemistry, even biophysics. It requires a deep understanding of the immune system. We need to know a lot more about how the body produces immunity reactions. We know a great deal, but there are still enormous voids in our understanding. We must know that in order to understand how the body normally distinguishes self from non-self.

The second question is: What are the factors in the autoimmune response that sometimes cause disease? These are the two critical questions that are the topics of basic research. Sometimes the feeling is expressed that basic research is scientists fooling around in the laboratory doing things that are unimportant. Well, there is nothing that is unimportant about these questions. They are absolutely critical. We must understand that if we are ever going to develop effective treatments or, more important, cures for preventing autoimmune disease, we must understand them. Just as we would never have been able to control infectious diseases until we found the bacteria or viruses that cause diseases, so we cannot deal effectively with autoimmune disease until we understand its cause.

Now, let get to the question Mrs. Ladd put to us: Why are autoimmune diseases related? And here I have to give you a little bit of insider information about how medicine is organized in this country.

When medicine grew up in the middle ages, physicians had to divide diseases into various kinds and various categories. The only way they could classify diseases was anatomically, that is, where does the disease occur? Physicians later divided themselves into doctors who were interested in diseases of the lungs, and other doctors who were interested in diseases of the skin, and other doctors were interested in disease of the intestinal tract or the reproductive tract or the urinary tract. Most medicine is still organized on the basis of the anatomy of the disease, on where the disease occurs. You go to a heart specialist (a cardiologist) if you have heart disease, to a neurologist if you have nervous system disease, to a dermatologist if you have a skin disease, and on and on. The medical community organized itself that way because that all the doctors knew. They didnt know what caused disease, but they knew where it occurred. But starting with Louis Pasteur about a hundred years ago, a change occurred. For the very first time we began to understand why disease occurs--not where it occurs, but why it occurs. And when we speak of why disease occurs, we speak of something else, and that is what we call etiology.

Etiology means cause, why the disease occurs. If we are concerned with curing disease and possibly even preventing disease, the etiology is the most important information. Why have we been able to control so many infectious diseases? Because we now know the bacteria and the viruses and the parasites that cause these diseases, and we can develop antibiotics and other drugs that will specifically attack that organism. Discovering the etiology has allowed medicine to progress to its present state where we can successfully treat and even cure many diseases.

Within the lifetime of most of us, we have ways of effectively treating infectious disease. Until World War II, until antibiotics were introduced, we did not have methods that cured disease. We had treatments that alleviated the symptoms of disease, but we really didnt cure disease. With the introduction of antibiotics--penicillin, streptomycin, and other substances--we now have a way of treating. And that why it is so important to understand etiology.

Here are a few other groups of diseases which are now defined by their etiology. Allergies are an example. If you have an allergy, it doesnt matter whether it an allergy of the nose, that is, hay fever, whether it in the lungs, asthma, or whether it atopic dermatitis, a skin disease. You may go to an allergist because all of these diseases have the same etiology. They have different anatomies, but they have the same etiology. That the way progress is being made by bringing together diseases with the same etiology.

Autoimmunity is an etiology: it is a cause of disease. Anatomically, autoimmune disease is very diverse; and that why we see specialists in so many areas of medicine studying autoimmunity. They may be rheumatologists who are interested in joints; they may be dermatologists who are interested in skin; they may be cardiologists who are interested in the heart; they may be gastroenterologists who are interested in the gastrointestinal tract. But the common etiology for all of these disease--for Crohn disease of the gut; for lupus of the skin; for rheumatoid arthritis of the joint--the common etiology that brings together all of these diseases is autoimmunity.

A major aim of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association is to help us to understand that all of these diseases, diverse as they are, in their anatomical location, in their clinical manifestation, are related because they have the same etiology; they are all caused by autoimmunity. In my opinion, the only way were going to develop really effective treatments will be to treat the cause of the disease, not the symptoms. The symptoms are late; the symptoms are at the end of the train of events. We want to get on the train at the very beginning.

Now, what are some of the specifics of this relationship? Let me lay out some of the principles that we now understand about the etiology of autoimmune disease.

Unlike some diseases, autoimmune diseases do not generally have a simple, single cause. There are usually two major categories of factors that are involved in causing autoimmune diseases: genetics and environment. Virtually every autoimmune disease combines these two. Let me explain more of what I mean. First, genetics. Genetics is involved in the development of autoimmune disease, but autoimmune diseases are not typical genetic diseases. What is a typical genetic disease? Most of us have heard of sickle cell anemia, and that a genetic disease. That a disease in which the victims of the disease have a specific genetic mutation. If you inherit this mutation from one parent, you have sickle cell trait; and if you inherit it from both parents, you have sickle cell disease. We know what the gene is, and we even know a great deal of how that works; so we know the etiology of that disease.

That not the way genetics works in autoimmune disease. In autoimmune disease, multiple genes are involved; we have genes that collectively increase the vulnerability or susceptibility to autoimmune disease. What is inherited is not a specific gene that causes a specific defect in metabolism; several genes increase vulnerability or susceptibility to autoimmune disease.

How do we know that there is a genetic basis of autoimmune disease? I can cite three kinds of evidence. The first is autoimmune diseases tend to occur in families. If there one case of autoimmune disease in the family, there likely to be another case.

However, it is not a particular autoimmune disease; it is generally a tendency to autoimmunity. One family member may have lupus, another family member may have Sjogren disease, a third member of the family may have rheumatoid arthritis. That one bit of evidence for genetic involvement, and weve known this for a number of years. If we ask patients when they come to us, "Is there other autoimmune disease in your family?"--and we actually have to mention them because people dont know these are all autoimmune diseases--they will usually say, "Yes, my aunt had thyroid trouble...my grandmother had that disease...my grandmother had Crohn disease...."

But we call this soft data in science because families share genes and that some indication of genetics; but families share other things.

So we need to look further. The second thing we do is to look at twins. We compare two kinds of twins. There are twins that are genetically identical, and there are twins that are non-genetically identical. If something is caused by an environmental factor, there should be no difference between identical twins and non-identical twins. If there a difference, it suggests that genetics plays a role. These studies have been done for a number of autoimmune diseases, and the answer has always come up about the same. Genetic components represent something in the order of half of the risks. In other words, if you have a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity, you may have twice or five times as much chance of developing autoimmunity as someone else--not 100 times, but not zero. So genetics plays an important role.

One group of genetic factors is particularly important. One of the things that immunology has taught us through the years is obvious but needed some kind of physical basis, it is simply that every human being is different from every other human being (unless you have a genetically identical twin). Every person is a little different from everybody else; we know that for certain when we try to transplant tissues, like kidneys or hearts. In general you cannot accept a kidney or heart from someone else unless we dampen your immune response.

There clearly are significant physical differences between different people. And we call the substance that causes that difference histocompatibility complex. We call the genes that provide that difference "major histocompatibility complex genes". Everybody abbreviates that long tongue twister by just saying MHC; and every species has an MHC, a major histocompatibility gene. In a human we call it HLA.

HLA is the major group of genes that distinguishes one human being from another. It is important in transplantation, and we do HLA typing regularly. It important to us in autoimmunity because susceptibility to autoimmunity is associated with the HLA type. It represents the most important single genetic trait in estimating susceptibility to autoimmune disease.

There are three kinds of information that tell us if autoimmune diseases are genetic. Ive mentioned two. One is family clustering; the second is the association with HLA. What the third?

The third is that autoimmune diseases occur in animals as well as in human beings. With animals we can do the breedings that are necessary.

We can infer the same must be true in humans. In animals the equivalent of HLA determines susceptibility. In animals this trait is actually predictive. In humans we arent yet at that point because we dont have enough information from humans to say, "Because of your HLA factor youre going to develop an autoimmune disease." We can, however, say that you have a greater likelihood of this happening.

So were getting to a point where we can almost predict who is more likely or less likely to develop autoimmune disease. Now this, again, is an example of how very basic research on a molecular level or on a genetic molecular level is beginning to pay off in human medicine.

I would like to conclude with the second half of the story. Ive said that genetics accounts for about half of the risk that you develop an autoimmune disease.

The other half is the agent in the environment which triggers the process. Unfortunately, we do not know very many of the triggers. We know there are certain drugs that can induce lupus. We know there are certain environmental substances like silica that can induce scleroderma. We suspect that there are certain dietary substances, such as iodine, that can exacerbate thyroid disease. So were beginning to define the other half of the story, the environmental half. It is going to be, I think, an equally fascinating chapter in the saga of autoimmune disease in the next decade.

So, in summary, that what autoimmune diseases have in common. That why we feel very strongly there should be a society like the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association that brings together all of the research and all of the investigators and all of the physicians as well as all of the patients interested in autoimmune diseases. Let us begin to get to questions of etiology, to get at the root causes of these diseases, rather than being left at the superficial level, that is, treating the symptoms after the disease has had its destructive effects.
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Postby gwa » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:38 pm

Lyon,

This is a wonderful essay by the doctor. Thanks for putting it up for others to read.

gwa
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Postby Lyon » Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:28 pm

My pleasure gwa. I'm glad Lynda mentioned the article because I love it.

I've had the opportunity to correspond with Dr Rose on several occasions and he (and his secretary or office assistant) are very nice and have been very helpful.

AllyB wrote:should we be consulting immunologists instead of neurologists?
That's a hard question but the answer is there is no doubt that your specialist should be a neurologist but it would be sooo helpful if they had a LOT more training in immunology and it should be required that research neurologists have a lot more training in immunology.
AllyB wrote:what would be the primary level that treatment should be aimed at?
I'm glad you asked. Treatment should be aimed at the CAUSE of course! :lol:

Bob
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Postby Uprightnbreathin » Sat Oct 13, 2007 3:14 am

My previous hobbies included running with scissors, playing in traffic, sticking my tongue into the fan blade, and ofcourse playing good cop/bad cop with my ex. My disability is Multiple Sclerosis. Is this why I have MS?


Perhaps my question would be worthy of a research grant here in the U.S.?
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Postby gwa » Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:08 am

Question: "Perhaps my question would be worthy of a research grant here in the U.S.?"

Answer: Only if you are a mouse.

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Postby AllyB » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:56 am

Hey Bob

Thanks so much for posting that article (and to LyndaCarol for mentioning it).
It is really interesting, but only makes sense in this forum IF you accept that ms is an autoimmune disorder :wink:

I know that is the general medical opinion, and although I am by no means well educated in this area, it makes sense to me that there is something wrong with my immune system that has made ms pop up (because of various things happening in my medical history etc, and because immunosuppressant agents seem to have some positive effect on the symptoms of ms), but I don't know if that qualifies it as auto-immune, or if that is too simplified...

I really feel that WHAT our immune systems are responding to and why, needs more investigation as how the immune system reacts can be explained, to some extent anyway (I know i am ringing an old bell here)...That primary level you were talking about.

But any way it surely is a good article and food for thought - my oncologist felt that my sister's condition and mine were definitley related, but whether genetically or environmentally???
She felt that my cancer had a genetic component (rather than environmental) as it was such a rare type in a woman my age and I did not have any of the usual environmental risk factors, and she seems more interested in immunology than my neuro...The only place to find an immunologist here would be at the Medical School attached to the University, they would be involved in research only....

Thanks again.
Al
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Postby Lyon » Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:02 am

AllyB wrote: but only makes sense in this forum IF you accept that ms is an autoimmune disorder :wink:
Hi Ally,
I've long tried to avoid the subject of whether or not MS is autoimmune. I only use the term "autoimmune" because it's the recognized description for a group of diseases which share conspicuous commonalities. It might sound logic defying but for my purposes I don't have a real interest in whether or not MS, or any disease, is autoimmune.

All I care about are their commonalities and that it should be, but isn't recognized that the commonalities that they share are the strongest clues to their causes of origination.

In other words, history should have made clear by now that regardless how hard researchers focus specifically on MS and regardless how much they learn about MS specifically, focussing specifically on MS will never lead to a cure or even significant advancement. That is akin to standing too close to the tree to see the forest and the cure lies in familiarity of the entire forest.

The cure for MS, or any inflammatory (is that better?) disease can only come from stepping back far enough to view the entire forest.

Bob
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Refer to Insulin--Could This Be the Key

Postby lyndacarol » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:16 am

Ally, many of us at this website have our own suspicions about this disease. Mine hinges on excess insulin (hyperinsulinemia).

You wrote:
LyndaCarol, pardon my ignorance, if you don't think that ms is an autoimmune disease, which theory do you find more plausible? I am still getting educated and haven't an informed opinion as yet and would be interested in yours....


You may wish to read my initial post of December 2005 at www.thisisms.com/ftopict-1878.html

You may also wish to find the General Discussion by finn on inflammation and degeneration.
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