Good point! And of course, since I'm usually coming from the "back end" of MS (re: therapy - pharmacology), I'm following along and waiting to see what therapy is suggested in order to correct this possible dysfunctional chromosomal fragmentation. Or should I say I am thinking about how or what might possibly be the treatment(s) as we go along?
Wesley, forgive me, but I CAN see the direct applications of this as it pertains to cancer, and even though I myself see many overlaps between MS and cancer and have many probing questions about it, I still am having trouble correlating your hypotheses with what IS known about MS directly. But I know it's early yet. Please don't think I'm not interested. I TOTALLY am!!
I myself am of the opinion that classifying MS as a purely
"autoimmune" disease is misleading. That's an argument (or should I say discussion) that my previous neuro and I had quite a few times. I don't disagree that the immune system may kick into the mix and cause further disruption, but that's not always the case in MS. I, also, am of the opinion that there is a genetic component involved in MS, but I'm not sure what. Of course, who is? LOL
As Robin pointed out (in a way), are you not possibly eventually going to come to the conclusion that since MS as a disease entity in and of itself is so hard to determine (unlike RA and lupus, even), that proving epigenesis as causative in MS would be next to impossible? I mean, I have no idea, and I am very interested in knowing more from you, but as it stands right now, I can't fathom how a connection can be drawn.
I do know that Aventis Pharmaceuticals was working with another computer science company (whose name escapes me at the moment) in developing an in-silico
model of CNS disease (MS), but until that happens, what methodology can you employ that can provide any semblance of substantiation? That's what I'm wondering if you aren't coming up against with the "establishment", as I jokingly call the MS clinicians and researchers.
I believe epigenetics is totally valid, but as I believe you have already noticed, the MS "world" is pretty old school at this time. There are many who ARE blazing new trails, but.......it's slow going still. It's hard to teach old dogs new tricks! (Gosh, did I say that?
Well, I speak from personal experience.) Anyway, and as I think you noticed, MSers don't always (nor is there a prevalence, I believe) have more than one classically defined "autoimmune" disease. I could be wrong, but I just haven't seen it very often in my small world. But then again, perhaps that is part of what you wanted to provide evidence of....that the autoimmune diseases do NOT go hand in hand that often.
But, please..........DO go on!!! As you can see, we are VERY interested!! We just might be your toughest critics, though. Don't take it to heart. We're just a curious bunch!