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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

History written by the victors?

Dr. T. Jock Murray, retired Canadian neurologist,  was considered the "go to" expert in Canada for all discussions regarding multiple sclerosis research. And there are many reasons why he earned this respect. Dr. Murray had a long and illustrious career.

Dr. Murray has over 200 publications. He is the author of a textbook of neurology, now in its fourth edition, and 2 books on the management of multiple sclerosis; he coauthored a book on medical quotations and a recent one on the quotations of Sir William Osler. He has contributed 37 chapters to other textbooks. He is or has been on the editorial board of 22 medical journals..... He was a founder and currently is past-president of the Consortium of North American Multiple Sclerosis Centres and was chair of the Canadian Medical Forum. He has served as vice president of the American Academy of Neurology, as president of the Canadian Neurological Society, and as president of the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges. Dr. Murray has received many awards and has delivered many distinguished lectureships. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1214566/

But Dr. Murray made some rather antagonistic and blunt comments to the press the week, regarding the newly appointed Canadian Minister of Science, Dr. Kirsty Duncan. Dr. Duncan has been an out-spoken advocate for further research into MS and CCSVI.  All along, she has maintained that the vascular issues in MS and diseases of neurodegeneration need further exploration.

Dr. Murray is having none of it.

"Ms. Duncan's role will ensure, among other things, that scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions," wrote Dr. Murray. "This would have been a problem if she was in this position when the government was dealing with the pressure on CCSVI, because Duncan chose to ignore the peer-reviewed scientific papers which indicated that CCSVI was not an MS breakthrough."

“Perhaps if she were to revisit her former comments and championing of CCSVI, as others have done, and would issue a statement to that effect,” Dr. Murray said, “she would regain some credibility in the eyes of scientists.”

Here you go, Dr. Murray.  Here is a database with hundreds of published and peer-reviewed papers citing a connection between CCSVI and MS.  Dr. Kirsty Duncan is right, there is more to research, and evidence of a connection.

I decided to take an in-depth look at Dr. Murray's much-lauded book, "Multiple Sclerosis: The History of a Disease" in order to understand his viewpoint. Why he would he so adamently negate Dr. Duncan's insistance that Canada fund vascular studies in diseases of neurodegeneration? And what I found was truly disturbing. Dr. Murray's book, considered to be a definitive history of MS research, is simply not the truth. It's just plain wrong.

Dr. Murray devotes a few scant pages to the 200 year vascular history of MS---on pages 285-288 he attempts to discuss and dismiss the "Vascular Theory."
link to chapter

Most disturbing is his characterization of Dr. Tracy J. Putnam's research in the 1930s and 1940s. In his book, he claims that Dr. Putnam's "experiments" were on the "carotids of cats and dogs." In fact, Dr. Putnam published on formation of MS lesions in dogs by blocking the venous sinus in the animals. Veins, not arteries.  Just like CCSVI.

Here's the actual study:
Putnam et al. injected oil into the longitudinal sinus of dogs and described brain pathology similar to that seen in human multiple sclerosis.
Putnam, 1935 T.J. Putnam. Studies in multiple sclerosis: IV. “Encephalitis” and sclerotic plaques produced by venular obstruction. Archives of Neurology and Psychiatry. 1935;33:929-940


Dr. Murray continues to characterize Putnam's research as a failure, since the lesions created did not look like those seen in MS. This is patently false!

Here's the truth:

"Dr. Tracy Putnam, American neurologist and chair of the medical advisory board for the National MS Society, experimented by obstructing venous outflow in dogs, only to find that the dogs quickly developed brain plaques similar to those found in MS patients.
Putnam wrote about his observation, “The similarity between such lesions [in dogs] and many of those seen in cases of multiple sclerosis in man is so striking that the conclusion appears almost inevitable that venular obstruction is the essential immediate antecedent to the formation of typical sclerotic plaques.”

Dr. Murray claims he is the real scientist, yet he is not correctly portraying science in his own book. He is creating a new narrative, in which he rewrites the history of vascular research in MS, so that he can dismiss it in a few pages. Dr. Zamboni's CCSVI research has found a connection between what Dr. Putnam saw in the 1940s, and what new technology has allowed us to see today. Venous stenosis, reflux and blockage affects the brain and spine.

If Dr. Murray, a much-revered MS expert, has written a history book which is wrong, who is going to call him on it?   We have to. His book is not scientifically correct, and we need to get the truth out there.  To use his own words,  If Dr. Murray wants to "regain credibility in the eyes of scientists", perhaps he needs to comprehend the published venous connection to multiple sclerosis, and not rewrtie it.

Here's the truth about Dr. T.J. Putnam's multiple sclerosis research--which I sourced and compiled using published, peer-reviewed research. http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com/2012/06/dr.html

Neuroimmunologists have had a strangle-hold on MS disease etiology for decades. Their hold has increased, as pharmaceutical companies created a 20 billion dollar a year industry based on the EAE immunological mouse model of MS.  Neurologists, like Dr. Murray, received research money, finders fees for getting patients into clinical trials, honorariums and speakers payments from pharmaceutical companies. They told the story the way they wanted to, but it is not the truth.   They have been the victors, and they have written history according to their script.

I am thankful for real, independent scientists, like Dr. Kirsty Duncan. Scientists who understand that research is an ongoing process which is about uncovering the truth. Not backing up a false narrative to protect one's turf or line one's pockets.

I hope Dr. Murray rewrites his book and fixes the errata in the chapter on vascular research. But more importantly, I hope he and other MS experts open their eyes to the very real, ongoing research into the vascular connection to MS.

History will be written by the victors. And unbiased research will provide those victorious answers.