Peter Behan is Professor Emeritus of Neurology at University of Glasgow. Simone Hutchinson is Research Assistant at Glasgow Caledonian University:
Multiple sclerosis: the fictions
Multiple sclerosis is stated in most textbooks and journals as being an autoimmune disease, meaning that the immune system of the body is directed against putative brain components. But this hypothesis is incorrect, based on a misinterpretation of histological studies and comparison of the disease to an animal model.
The autoimmune hypothesis has allowed investigators and drug firms to use and test powerful immunomodulating and immunosuppressive agents as therapy.
Sadly, such trials persist despite recognised morbidity and mortality among patients.
A review of papers published over the course of 60 years in one of the world’s leading journals in medicine shows that many research articles claim to show that it has an immunological basis. But, alas, not one of these claims has been confirmed, despite glowing editorials at the time of publication. Read more>>