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333672 tn?1273792789

Unpredictability

I have been reading Beyond the Zonules of Zinn: A Fantastic Journey Through Your Brain by David Bainbridge, a British vet. It's an entertaining tour of the brain from an anatomical perspective that also follows the history of our understanding of the brain and throws in a bunch of comparative anatomy for good measure. He does a good job of making it interesting, although I'm not sure how much I'm retaining.

Anyway, there's a bit in the section on the spinal cord where he talks about MS and I just liked this quote:

"The progress of the disease [MS] is extremely unpredictable, to the extent that unpredictability is almost its defining feature."

I certainly feel like my future is unpredictable. He also talks about the variability of MS because it affects the central nervous system which controls most everything else. That variability is certainly obvious to any who has ever visited this forum.

He also mentions possible causes and one that he touches on is whether a virus could be the environmental event that triggers MS. Here he brings up endogenous retroviruses, which apparently are viruses that have over time incorporated themselves into our genome and might occasionally unhook themselves and go forth in our body. Anybody ever heard of this idea?
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488264 tn?1226520307
This would fit in with the month of birth being significant, if certain viruses are more prevalent at certain times of year.

When I worked in psychology there was a theory around about schizophrenia, some research again showing it may have a viral link, but the child had to have pre-existing genetic tendencies to be affected by the virus.  Again there were certain months which had high levels of sufferers with their birthdays.  This research was from a long time back, and not being in the field any more don't know whether it was upheld, and too lazy to look!

Also a colleague who had ms came from a locality where about a third of the children in her class at school went on to develop the disease as adults.  The prevalence in her part of the country was also extremely high as a percentile.

Maybe there is something in the idea of susceptibility triggered by a viral event?  When I stop being depressed I still have my access to med journals online from my old job, and will get it renewed again in a few weeks, so remind me and I'll look into it.  But Quix is way ahead of me on this one I'm sure.
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147426 tn?1317265632
Interesting.  Yes, I think I have some data on retroviruses.  I'll look.

Q
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