In Bologna, Dr. Mark Haacke addressed another means of measuring brain tissue injury in MS. Susceptibility Weighted MRI. What SWI MRI shows us, is that iron deposited in the brain is a bio marker for MS progression.
What is different in SWI-MRI, according to Dr. Haacke, is that brain damage shown due to iron deposition actually CORRESPONDS to disability in MS.
The more iron deposed in the brain, the more disability, the more progressive MS is. This is different than the usual measuring of hyperintense lesions on MRI, which have no specific correlation to disease severity.
Here's the rub:
Pharma companies use the lesions shown on MRI as "proof" that their particular drug is working. Look! We've reduced hyperintensities on MRI! Our amaze-a-bub is slowing MS! Stock prices go up, investors are happy, and MS patients continue to decline.
If we look at the TRUE cause of disability- the only measurement in the brain that correlates to disability is iron deposition and brain atrophy.
This is why my husband had 20 lesions at his diagnosis and could mountain bike, and someone with one lesion is in a wheelchair. It's not just about the white matter lesions.
If we understand that the macrophages and immune system are activated as janitors to clean up the cellular death in the brain, we understand that the lesions we see on standard MRI may be secondary--just as they are a stroke patient, or someone with an ischemic brain ijury.
Thank goodness for Dr. Haacke, and other scientists who are speaking out. It is not simply about the lesions on MRI. We will be told it is, because we can be sold drugs that halt these lesions---but that has not stopped MS progression. There is no drug to stop reflux, iron deposition and hypoxic injury in the brain, and this is why it has not been explored since TJ Putnam in the 1940s, and will be fought.