Is there a pulse wave encephalopathy component to multiple sclerosis?
The dominant hypothesis in multiple sclerosis is that it is an autoimmune disease; however, there is considerable evidence that the immune attack on myelin may be secondary to a cytodegenerative event. Furthermore, the immune modulating therapies longest in clinical use, although modulating the frequency and severity of exacerbation, do not affect long-term progression towards disability. Clearly alternative perspectives on the etiology of multiple sclerosis are warranted. In this paper I outline the commonalities between idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus and multiple sclerosis. These include decreased intracranial compliance as evidenced by increased cerebrospinal fluid volume and velocity of cerebrospinal fluid flow through the cerebral aqueduct; increased ventricular volume; periventricular demyelination lesions; increase in size of Virchow-Robin spaces; presence of Hakim's triad comprised of locomotory disabilities, cognitive problems and bladder control problems. Furthermore, multiple sclerosis is associated with decreased arterial compliance. These are all suggestive that there is a pulse wave encephalopathy component to multiple sclerosis. There are enough resemblances between normal pressure hydrocephalus and multiple sclerosis to warrant further investigation. Whether decreases in intracranial compliance is a consequence of multiple sclerosis or is a causal factor is unknown. Effective therapies can only be developed when the etiology of the disease is understood.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25760216