A recent paper in Nature explains how the brain's newly discovered immune system protects our gray matter. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01502-8
For those who have followed this blog over the past 15 years, you might remember my posts on the ground breaking work of Dr. Michal Schwartz. It is thanks to her pushing back against the status quo and the work of her student, Dr. Jony Kipnis, that we now understand the importance of immune cells in the brain. Neuroimmunology is a growing field, and has changed all we thought we knew about the central nervous system.
In 2002, Dr. Schwartz published a new paradigm for MS treatment with her then-student, Dr. Jony Kipnis. They were concerned that MS treatments which suppressed or ablated the brain's immune cells would eventually be harmful to the brain. Even though inflammation might be tamped down in the short term, the brain would atrophy, or lose volume, without its protective immune system. She suggested modulating immune cells, and boosting the brain's immune response, rather than getting rid of it, which made sense to me. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12374425/
Jeff recently had a new MRI. It's been 15 years since his MS diagnosis, and we are thankful to report that his gray matter is "normal and healthy" with no loss. He has no new white matter lesions and he's still biking, hiking, jogging and working. We are very thankful for his mild course in this disease, and thankful he was treated for stenotic jugular veins and dural sinus. He was fortunate to be able to stay active and adapt a new lifestyle.
I no longer share my opinions or advice on MS treatments on the internet, as I felt it was not my place as a lay person to give medical advice. But I will continue to share the science.
Please follow the ISNVD for further publications and research on the vascular connection to diseases of neurodegeneration. https://isnvd.org
As the venous dural sinus in the place where the brain's immune system connects to the vasculature, neuroimmunologists will be exploring this further.