I've been quite busy in the last couple of days and have not had a chance to read the messages that have been posted.
undeniably treatment is better no treatment, you make excellent points about locations of lesions that is one of the mysteries of ms. unless i misunderstood you, copaxone is very effective when given early before the disease has begun to demonstrate progression.
I'm not sure that beginning "treatment" (taking the "approved" MS drugs) immediately is the absolute way to go. Don't forget that it was the Mayo Clinic that suggested patients wait to see the course of their disease before they choose what treatment to take.
As for Copaxone being effective...it wasn't me that said it was useless in the treatment of MS, it was the independent Cochrane Group of scientists that examined the trial data and made that statement. Like all these treatments, each drug company will have very differing views on how effective their competitors medications may be for MS.
My comment was that despite all the interferons and Copaxone being different in their make-up and strength, the results pretty much all seem to be the same at around 30% efficacy. That number seems quite co-incidental for a disease that is characterized by relapse/remission scenarios. Dr. P.O. Behan, in his paper Pathogenesis of MS, indicates that this 30% efficacy rate is very suspicious if not meaningless.
MR evidence is one marker for a medications effectiveness. oI am sure you remember when there was nothing for treatment for MS 20 years ago. It is utterly irresponsible reckless and ultimately dangerous for someone to be given the choice of treatment and not take in in lieu of a therapy not proven, such as bee stings, diet alone, ect. Especially when many of these can be adjunctive to prescrined medications. I am not suggesting this is what you are saying, but you sound very angry and someone could take what you and a number of others on this site way wrong,
MRI evidence, while being one marker, is THE main marker that the the drug companies have used to try and convince us that their medications are great for MS patients. If they relied on the EDSS scale for results, the drugs would never have been approved by the FDA.
I am also going to disagree with your "utterly irresponsible etc." statement on treatment option. When my wife's MS started to progress in the early 90's after 20 years of it being dormant, her neuro (who was involved in the trials involving all the drugs) told her they would not do her any good! He stated that in general, the docs were quite disappointed with the ABC drugs at the time because they weren't seeing the results that they thought they would get. Told her to take two good holidays per year and she would feel better for it than by taking the drugs. And here was a doc who was involved in the trials.
In June 2000, my wife started to use Prokarin (under close medical supervision) and immediately experienced huge symptom relief. Her quality of life improved hugely and there were no side effects. This worked wonders for her yet according to your opinion, this was irresponsible! You can't paint anything or anyone who suffers from MS with one brush. The disease is so diverse and effects everyone so differently that there isn't any one choice. Even the MS docs have differing opinions and that is going to continue as long as nobody knows what causes the disease.
Let's just say that after 45 years of following MS research I can tell you that I have seen the "not so good" effects that the CRAB drugs have on MS patients...both from a personal situation and from reading a lot. While some patients appear to do well with these medications, others do very poorly. The results are all over the map...just like the disease itself.!