What we term "multiple sclerosis" doesn't really exist as a recognizable entity. Although the main problem is damage to the myelin sheath, symptoms vary so widely that the end result is a collection of quite disparate problems looking for a tidy label. That label, up until now, has been MS.
The other reason that MS isn't really a "disease" is that these symptoms can be produced by many causes, often man made. Chief among these, says MS specialist Dr Patrick Kingley, is mercury from amalgam fillings. Of the 3800 MS patients he has treated thus far, only five didn't have evidence of mercury poisoning.Systemic candida overgrowth, allergies and food intolerences, pesticides, moulds, nutritional deficiencies, drugs the entire gambit of 20th century toxic rubbish in our environment conspires to poison us in slow motion. The more susceptible among us may experience a scrambling up of the signalling going to the muscles via the brain and begin to evidence some of the symptoms that we have up until now called MS. Others of us will just get hayfever.
Dr Kingsley is currently interested in the role of certain viruses in acting as a sort of initial trigger. In an overwhelming number of his patients with sensory problems pins and needles in the extremities and loss of sensation in other parts of the body the patient sometimes reports a bout of shingles, herpes or chickenpox before the onset of the problem. "Maybe what they then go on to develop," muses Dr Kingsley, "is not MS but an unusual presentation of shingles." Dr Kingsley has also seen a number of cases of patients who develop meningitis during MS. After the meningitis was treated, it led to improvement. In other patients, he discovers a spinal injury, such as whiplash, occurred before the onset of symptoms. Could that injury, also, have played a role?
This notion of overload or a viral trigger is a far cry from the idea of a "bug" invading our bodies and causing all the damage on its own. It is akin to the viral (or vaccine) trigger that often seems to precipitate ME.
Understanding all the most puzzling illnesses like MS, or ME, or even cancer and AIDS requires that we dispose of our notion of illness as having any one cause or acting similarly in all of us.
Labeling diseases is ultimately limiting, forcing very different symptoms and individual causes into a very small box. What causes what we call cancer in you is not what causes cancer in me, and my body's individual symptom picture and response to it will ultimately be very different from yours.
In order to conquer MS, we need first to stop giving it a name. Once we do, we may stop looking for the single culprit behind it.