genetics aside, sunlight is one of the environmental factors used to try to explain the global distribution of ms and actually other illnesses like diabetes too. there are anomalous pockets of ms-free populations at northern latitudes, where you find the population eats lots of fish or something like that. the link is the vitamin D (sorry brom i had to say it lol) although in some cases there could be genetic protection also. there is much research to be found on multiple sclerosis and vitamin D. pubmed has a great collection or you can just use scholar.google.com to find interesting goodies. i am actually writing an essay - due TOMORROW eek what am i doing here! - on vitamin d as it pertains to health issues in populations with darker skin pigmentation. i have 85 pages of abstracts amassed lol! but most of the ms relevant ones have been posted here already so check em out! the vitamin D bunch here tend to be on 1000-4000 IU per day - i'm on 4000 unless i get out in the sun without sunscreen. which i have been doing lots of lately! i put on sunscreen after the first half hour to an hour.
the survey idea sounds great but i think it's rough to find common threads between all
patients. i think it would be really good to try to analyze and group subsets though. my research focus has been nutrition and there certainly significant trends to read about in the literature.
i can tell you that in my case, from the genetic standpoint, i am northern european ancestry - first generation canadian with both parents from the UK. on the environmental side of things, i had terrible nutrition due to irresponsible veganism, plus smoking/drinking, for 15 years and developed lesions in my thoracic and cervical spine, plus some brain lesions, and i also have oligoclonal banding in my spinal chord. i have ongoing problems with candida but those have been around since birth so i don't know for sure how that might be related to my current health situation, but am taking measures to address it. i don't take any ms drugs, just vitamin/mineral/herbal supplements, and now i'm getting a fluconazole prescription. i have been b12 deficient (my lesions are thoracic and cervical - classic b12 deficiency lesions), also iron deficient and D insufficient (according to the 80nmol/l sufficiency argument), and i don't know about my uric acid levels but i can tell you that gout and ms are mutually exclusive (i have posted the study somewhere on this site) and being a vego i certainly wouldn't be in any danger of gout. [UPDATE: my uric acid was 194, bang on MS patient average. healthy controls = 290. second uric acid check i had dropped to 188. bad. relapse patients average in the 160s. third UA blood test results pending, update posted 2007 Dec 08]
so anyway i had spinal cord and brain damage. then i had a travel vaccine for hep A, and two weeks after that i had a kind of whiplashy bang on the head in a snowboarding crash, and within 7 days of the fall, i had lost all my large fibre modality sensory up to my collar bone. i might have had a flare recently but i'm not sure. for a few days i had spit going into my lungs all the time and had to be really careful when drinking water, and eating. i had been away on a trip and didn't take all my vitties. (i just went to the lab the other day for some monitoring of my serum b12, iron, and D3. very curious to hear if all this supplementing - when i am diligent with it - is actually doing me some good!)
this next bit is not really relevant but i feel like typing it so i will
i have my sensory mostly back now except for my hands, but it took months to walk and write normally again. and for a long time i couldn't type with all five digits and without looking but i can now, thanks to b vitamins. i'm still a bit shaky on the legs sometimes but by june of this year i was able to consider running down the stairs at home, and did it on the second try. my legs still do the jimmy (i think it's just typical rls) occasionally, but not as badly as before and my walking looks normal. and that's that!
k enough procrastinating i have to go put all these abstracts into essay format!