Good question and the answer is "no, maybe, uhhh, sort of." A purely autoimmune disease is one in which they have demonstrated that the initial insult is the result of the production of identified antibody or antibodies or immune cells against some component or tissue of the body. (This is a quick and dirty description) The disease is a direct result of the antibody (B-cell lymphcyte) or immune-cellular (T-cell lymphocyte) attack.
MS has many features of autoimmunity, but not enough to actually directly classify it as autoimmune in nature. Rather it appears that some set of triggers and susceptiblities which involve every part of the immune system results in immune-related damage and inflammation to the central nervous system. It also appears that there are different triggers and causes which, in different combinations, can all cause the disease of MS.
The evidence of autoimmunity in MS is vast, but the "smoking gun" has not been found to prove the case.
What is clear is that aberrations in the immune system are deeply involved in causing MS, but the direct link is still not completely understood.
I would love to write a blurb on this, but it is a HUGE topic and changing by the week.
What always needs to be repeated is that people with MS DO NOT have a suppressed immune sytem. They are NOT immune-deficient. They are not at risk for serious opportunistic infections. But, people with MS do have an immune system that is seriously out-of-whack (official moecular biology term) with regard to how that immune system treats some of the tissues of the central nervous system.
It seems in my case, that I often find that I do not get sick like other people. Everyone around me can be sick and I don't "catch" it. Does this have anything to do with a stronger immune system or the direct result of having something haywire with my immune system, such as MS? Is is perhaps a stronger immune system in any way?
The BLURB above is perfect and very understandable. Doesn't matter that it's everchanging - think you should post it. Don't think that smoking gun will be found sooner than our need to wrap our heads around what has been discovered so far.
Thinking when they do find the arsenol, it will be a cache of all sorts of weaponry!
Really? We can add it if people thought that was helpful. With just a little effort I could add some info.
I haven't had so much as a cold (nor flu, nor tummy thingy, not even allergies) since 2001. Well, I did have a tiny cold sore (HSV I) in January. I haven't thought it was related to MS, but to the fact that I went through every cold in 4 different states when I was in Pediatrics.
Of course - it will be very helpful.
I know I'm not the only one trying to make sense of this lymphcyte antibody cell stuff. I found it great!
You can post it with the disclaimer that it does change, like you said. Although, I believe it will hold water for quite some time and not need weekly changes, considering the strong possibility not all the experts will agree with drastic differences or changes right off the bat - unless there is some MAJOR - MAJOR break through (or miracle).
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