is multiple sclerosis just a pain in the neck?

according to a surgeon with the unlikely name of paolo zamboni, md, of the University of Ferrara, in Ferrara, Italy, MS may result from poor vascular circulation in the neck. the theory is that poor circulation in the neck results in a build-up of iron in the brain. the end result is that, if this theory proves to be correct, ms can be “cured” with a simple surgical procedure. i’ve heard it suggested that it is an odd coincidence that a vascular-surgical treatment was discovered by a vascular surgeon, and the treatment is still regarded as a long shot. but i plan to follow this as it gets studied more and more. like most people with ms, the hope of a cure is constantly dangled in front of us (like a carrot on a stick?), but if i can someday endure a “simple” surgery on my neck and be free from symptoms, it might be worth keeping an eye on.

i also saw this morning that james “jimmie” frederick heuga, passed away on february 9. although he was an olympic medalist in skiing, (which i did not know), he is best known as the founder of The Heuga Center, where he promoted his then revolutionary idea of treating ms with an aggressive program of exercise and optimistic thinking.

when he was first diagnosed in 1970 after experiencing symptoms during the ’68 olympics, his doctors told him to stop exercising to lessen the strain on his body. he followed their advice for  several years, but realizing  he was not cut out for a sedentary lifestyle, he created a program of fitness and wellness program that eventually became the main focus of the heuga center. now called Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, i have heard nothing but good things about its intensive, 4-day program for patients and caregivers. though his work will live on, jimmy himself will be sorely missed.

and once and for all – is caffeine bad for ms? it seems to be contra-indicated with clonazepan, but in general, i hear conflicting reports. what’s the deal, ms researchers? i miss my coffee already.

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Author: stephen

stephen harris is a writer, painter and a photographer who lives with his family in maine.

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