Cure for Multiple Sclerosis?
Is there a cure for multiple sclerosis? Doctors say no. They can only guess at what causes it, so finding a cure for what is still very much a mystery disease is proving a major challenge for the world's researchers.
The disease is manageable and there are conventional drugs which are proving to be highly successful in reducing symptoms and keeping them at bay.
It's tough being told that you have a disease with no known cause or cure. For many people, understanding why they have been afflicted with a particular illness goes a long way towards helping them cope with it.
There are plenty of charlatans out there who'll play on this and if you trawl the internet you'll find numerous sites offering expensive "cures" which have no real scientific basis.
High doses of vitamins or faddy diets are among the many ideas currently being bandied about. Some claim eating huge amounts of oily fish can prevent you from contracting the disease and anecdotal evidence suggests the polyunsaturated fats found in such fish have helped keep symptoms at bay in some people.
Some say prayer is the answer to MS. In Baltimore , USA , a 53 year-old woman who'd suffered from MS for 12 years got up from her wheelchair after "evil spirits" were banished from her during a prayer meeting. Apparently she never used a wheelchair again. Similar apparent miracles occasionally surface in various parts of the world.
A lot of the more quirky claims stop short of saying there is an absolute cure for Multiple Sclerosis. In the main they claim to help alleviate symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. .
There is, however, one highly controversial man who believes that multiple sclerosis can be cured. Noel Batten caused a storm when he published his book: Multiple Sclerosis "The Greatest Medical Mistake."
"The Greatest Medical Mistake"
The auto-immuniologist fired a broadside at the medical profession by claiming that MS was not caused by myelin degeneration (myelin is the protective sheath around the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.)
Dr Batten claims that Multiple Sclerosis is curable provided there is no damage to the immune system. He believes that many people are wrongly informed that nothing can be done.
His book states that if MS was caused by incurable deterioration of myelin then every MS symptom would be present and the intensity of the symptoms would never vary. However some sufferers say that their symptoms vary dependant on stress or quality of sleep.
Dr Batten believes that MS is a normal response to personal emotional stress, which reduces blood flow to the brain, which in turn reduces the flow to the face, limbs and specific organs causing MS symptoms. Whether he is right or not is up for furious debate.
In his book he outlines six steps to a cure:
- Improving sleep
- relaxing the mind
- relaxing neck, chest, stomach and hip muscles to improve the blood flow to these areas
- improving lung expansion to help produce interferon and dopamine which helps muscle mobility and flexibility
- Diet and lifestyle changes
- keeping the neck, spine and hips aligned by going to a chiropractor regularly.
Dr Batten's claims that MS is curable have been rubbished by many within the mainstream medical profession. But he swears by them and says he was cured of epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis type symptoms by following this regime.
A lot of medics agree that exercise, relaxation and improved sleep can help to ease the symptoms of MS but they refuse to accept that these measures can provide a cure.
So does the answer lie with God, oily fish, vitamins or a good night's sleep? The only honest answer is that no-one knows.