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What causes Multiple Sclerosis?

There is an incredible growth in the investigations between MS and gut health.

Causes Multiple Sclerosis

If you research this question using Dr. Google

You’ll find the most common answer remains ‘the exact cause of MS is unknown’, however, scientists believe that there are four factors that play a role in development of the disease:

  1. immunologic; immune system attacking the body
  2. genetic; 2>5% of MS Patients
  3. environmental; lack of sunshine causing lack of vitamin D
  4. viral; past history of illnesses

Other risk factors?

In addition to the list above there are other risk factors for developing MS;

  • Sex: Women are two to three times more likely to develop MS than men are.
  • Age: According to the Mayo Clinic, MS usually strikes between the ages of 20 and 40.

What can make MS symptoms worse?

  1. Stress
  2. Smoking
  3. Heat
  4. Infections
  5. Medication
  6. Lack of sleep

What is MS? Read More

As a reader of my Blogs, you are here to find scientific, honest truth, and education about a certain aspect within the Blog.  So here’s some important information for your development:

  1. Scientific research doesn’t have to be complicated – I will support your understanding of the ‘language’.
  2. You don’t have to be involved in research to appreciate it – it’s all around us and very much dictates lots about our daily lives.
  3. Build on your foundations – just like building a house! We start from the bottom up.

What is Scientific Research?

Scientists, that are involved in research, are bound by many Ethical standards which are critically important when conducting research of which the content varies pending upon their chosen discipline Read More.  Commonly termed ‘Evidence-based Medicine’ (EBM) is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values, patient circumstances, and the best research evidence into the decision making process for patient care.  The evidence, by itself, does not make the decision, but it can help support the patient care process. The full integration of these four components into clinical decisions enhances the opportunity for optimal clinical outcomes and quality of life. The practice of EBM is usually triggered by patients who encounter issues which generate questions about the effects of therapy, the utility of diagnostic tests, the prognosis of diseases, and/or the aetiology of disorders.


EBM image Jo Abbott

 What is the MS Scientific Research telling us?

Since 1994 there have been 96 EBM studies have been published exploring the relationship between MS and gut health, with 29% of these studies published this year!  This is an incredible growth in the investigations between MS and gut health.  Albeit a small pool of studies (average 4.5 per year whereas Low Back Pain (LBP) averages 66 studies per year) there remains a continuum of strong evidence of a relationship between MS and gut health.

If you ask the Scientists…

Yadav and colleagues (October 2017) have shown that the induction of gut dysbiosis triggers the development of spontaneous experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) during adolescence and early young adulthood. Whilst Cekanaviciute and colleagues (2017) demonstrated the immunoregulatory effects of human gut microbiota in multiple sclerosis (MS) and identified specific bacteria that is associated with MS. These results expand the knowledge of the microbial regulation of immunity and may provide a basis for the development of microbiome-based therapeutics in autoimmune diseases.

A new way of thinking…

Using all the skills I have learnt in my lifetime (Learn More), then applying this to the information gathered from the EBM, I proposed an idea to my wife:

  • Whilst we are waiting for the Medical Team to process our next stage from diagnosis to treatment, we have time to explore what we can do to see if we can support her daily symptoms.
  • We know the outcome of the proposed treatment: Lemtrada or Tysabri, both forms of chemotherapy.
  • Ideally, my wife wanted to avoid any treatment with needles because she has a significant phobia of needles.  NB: This is no ordinary phobia!  (see Blog on ‘What Medical Teams can Learn from the Patient and Family Experiences’ coming soon).
  • My wife’s need to not poison her body with Lemtrada or Tysabri.

One wish from me: all inquisitive minds research go look at the science before using Dr. Google

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4 responses on "What causes Multiple Sclerosis?"

  1. A journey indeed! Life throws us obstacles and hopefully we have the power to hurdle them. I too have been on an emotional journey this year with my family. I honestly believe that my continued study and friendship with Jo has given me not only the strength and knowledge but the power to believe that we do not have to follow every path that ‘the doctor’ lays in front of us.

    Using the Body MOT skill set, my knowledge of yoga, mindfulness, movement and biomechanics I have guided my husband through the first stages of cancer treatment. He feels stronger in both body and mind – his digestive system has never been so healthy, his hair, nails and skin never so bright and wholesome.

    Life is a challenge in itself, we must fight our battles the best way we know…..thank you Jo…for everything I know xx

    • Thank you for sharing Jane, very honest and open of you.
      To make the point clearer for other readers: we have not stopped any of the proposed treatments from the Consultants and Doctors for our Partners, instead we have used the time given to us wisely, intelligently, and at no detriment to our Partners health – in fact we have both had the opposite outcome from applying the science.
      May we continue to support one another on these journeys.

  2. Hi great explanation and given me a better understanding of ms
    I’m proud to use the BodyMOT with my client I come from a sports science background so in a world of internet claims and misinformation this evidence based approach along side the medical approaches is key

    • Thank you Teresa, you are very kind. If you have anything you’d like me to cover on the subject matter of MS, please do let me know and I shall make sure I cover it in the following blogs. J

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