Welcome! This blog contains research & information on lifestyle, nutrition and health for those with MS, as well as continuing information on the understanding of the endothelium and heart-brain connection. This blog is informative only--all medical decisions should be discussed with your own physicians.

The posts are searchable---simply type in your topic of interest in the search box at the top left.

Almost all of MS research is initiated and funded by pharmaceutical companies. This maintains the EAE mouse model and the auto-immune paradigm of MS, and continues the 20 billion dollar a year MS treatment industry. But as we learn more about slowed blood flow, gray matter atrophy, and environmental links to MS progression and disability--all things the current drugs do not address--we're discovering more about how to help those with MS.

To learn how this journey began, read my first post from August, 2009. Be well! Joan

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Medical Hierarchies

February 2,  2013  

We are beginning to see how the hierarchical power structure at universities and in medical journals is impacting research into CCSVI. Negative studies are picked up time and time again in the press and regurgitated ad infinitum,  while positive and corroborative CCSVI research from vascular specialists is ignored. 


Aside from corporate conspiracy theories (which may be true, but near impossible to prove)---there is another force which comes into play in research.

The hierarchies of medical disciplines.

Here is a paper written in the 1980s, regarding the favoring of the immunologists' explanation of MS over the vascular paradigm. 
Yes, this debate has been waging for many, many years-it is not new.

From the paper on Social Constructionism and medical sociology: a study of the vascular theory of MS--

"A recent debate surrounding the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis is analysed in terms of the skills, interests and backgrounds of the medical personnel involved. It is noted that the proponents of the vascular theory possess developed expertises in interpreting disease in
structural, vascular terms, whereas their opponents' skills lie in immunology or neurology. Different observers have produced different conceptions of the disease because modes of
observation, and the points from which observation takes place, differ. 

It is also noted that the debate over the causation and treatment of MS has occurred between a large and powerful social group and a weak and marginal one. The effects of this power inequality on the production and assessment of knowledge about MS are investigated."

The authors go on to explain how the "large and powerful group" of more highly paid and trained neurologists got to "own" MS. Because of this, any other theories or modalities of MS diagnosis or treatment from weaker and less powerful medical groups or patients are shot down, called quack theories and easily discounted.

This is a very important paper for us to understand.  It reviews Dr. Philip James' studies in Scotland in the 80's. He likened the MS disease process to decompression sickness and oxygen deprivation he found in divers. James, like Dr. Roy Swank, thought this might be due to blockages in the vascular system, and he had much success treating MS patients with hyperbaric oxygen. 

This paper helps us understand what we've always been up against- and why the internet is a democratizing power in this "social constructivism" and how we can change the dialogue, and insist on more vascular research.  We can lend our voices to help the "marginalized" vascular profession.

We may not be able to control what the mainstream/corporate press publishes in terms of research results, BUT we can inform one another, and help the vascular doctors have a platform for their research.

Spread the word.

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