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Multiple Sclerosis Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy Multiple sclerosis is considered to be a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord, also called the "CNS") that causes the destruction of the covering (myelin sheath) of the nerves. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

"Demyelination" is an inflammatory process which destroys the normal, healthy covering of nerves. So-called myelin plaques or patches are scattered throughout the central nervous system. We think these plaques interfere with or block the ability of nerves to transmit nervous system signals (neurotransmission) and therefore cause a wide range of , neurological symptoms.

The symptoms of MS are highly variable. I will list them here, but please understand that the symptoms do not come all at once, and may of them never appear in most cases. The possible symptoms are: numbness and tingling, visual disturbances (partial blindness, pain in one eye, double vision), transient weakness, stiffness of arms and/or legs, weakness of arms and/or legs, disturbance of gait, difficulty with bowel and/or bladder control, vertigo, mild emotional disturbance, muscular spasms, partial or complete paralysis, extreme fatigue, loss of coordination, loss of coordination, slurred speech, faulty judgment, inattention, euphoria, reactive depression, emotional lability (sudden weeping, sudden laughter dementia), slow speech with hesitancy at the beginning of a word or syllable ("scanning" speech).

It is strongly suspected that an autoantibody targeted at the myelin tissue is the underlying factor in the formation of these myelin plaques, but this is not yet proven. We also believe it to be triggered by a virus, chemical or something in the person's environment. However, I must emphasize that we simply do not know fully the causation of this disease at this time.

MS affect between 200,000 and 350,000 people in the U.S., according to the National Institute of Health and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The disease can affect any age. However, the diagnosis is most often made between 20 and 40 years of age and more often in women than men. MS is more common in Caucasian Americans than in Americans of African or Oriental heritage.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also if MS is an autoimmune disorder, enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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