Wednesday, December 28, 2011

MS is a metabolic disorder: the paper is finally out!

Dr Angelique Corthals' brilliant new understanding of MS, "Multiple Sclerosis is Not a Disease of the Immune System" is finally out! Full citation:

Angelique P. Corthals
The Quarterly Review of Biology
Vol. 86, No. 4 (December 2011), pp. 287-321
(article consists of 35 pages)

Right now, it looks as though free web access is restricted to those with JSTOR accounts. I'm a little taken aback by that (it was my understanding that it would be free for all). Hopefully, this is just a(nother) glitch. If you can't afford $14, I can send you the paper by email, and then you can send it on to others. For now, direct your healthcare professional to the link above; they'll no doubt have free access.

Meanwhile, my précis of the paper, and explanation of why this is not just another bit of hype, but a truly ground-breaking new paradigm, is here. And here's the abstract:

Multiple sclerosis is a complex neurodegenerative disease, thought to arise through autoimmunity against antigens of the central nervous system. The autoimmunity hypothesis fails to explain why genetic and environmental risk factors linked to the disease in one population tend to be unimportant in other populations. Despite great advances in documenting the cell and molecular mechanisms underlying MS pathophysiology, the autoimmunity framework has also been unable to develop a comprehensive explanation of the etiology of the disease. I propose a new framework for understanding MS as a dysfunction of the metabolism of lipids. Specifically, the homeostasis of lipid metabolism collapses during acute-phase inflammatory response triggered by a pathogen, trauma, or stress, starting a feedback loop of increased oxidative stress, inflammatory response, and proliferation of cytoxic foam cells that cross the blood brain barrier and both catabolize myelin and prevent remyelination. Understanding MS as a chronic metabolic disorder illuminates four aspects of disease onset and progression: 1) its pathophysiology; 2) genetic susceptibility; 3) environmental and pathogen triggers; and 4) the skewed sex ratio of patients. It also suggests new avenues for treatment.

Please spread the news as widely as you can. The sooner people are banging on the doors of the medical establishment, the sooner MS will be eradicated.

This is a tremendous way to prepare for the New Year. I, for one, will be folding the insights of this paper into my goals and resolutions for 2012.

ETA: As Heather points out in the comments, many library systems have JSTOR access. So try your friendly local library.

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