According to Dr Kingsley, lack of good clinical skills is at the heart of the impatience of many practitioners with MS sufferers: "Sometimes with MS patients you just have to patiently keep on trying different methods. Through careful observation Kingsley has found that simply changing a patient's diet can make him or her symptom free in 30-40 per cent of cases, and that B12 deficiency is at the root of many of the cases he sees (see box page 3).
"In my practice I tend to divide my patients loosely into two distinct groups: those which are experiencing motor function loss and those with sensory loss. Those with motor function loss are closely aligned to parkinsonian types and will respond well to diet and supplements of magnesium. Those with sensory disturbance often have had shingles, herpes or chickenpox virus and can be helped greatly by large intravenous doses of B12 sometimes as high as 15,000 mcg weekly."
MS is currently treated with a wide range of drugs including anti inflammatory, immunosuppressants, immunomodulators, anti spastic and anti infective drugs. While some may help the management of patients with acute symptoms, none has proven to be of any benefit in the long term (BMJ, 1992; 304: 1260-1).
In fact, many cause debilitating side effects which do nothing to help an MS sufferer's life. For instance anti spastic drugs such as Lioresal (baclofen) can lead to drowsiness, muscular weakness and dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, confusion, insomnia, tremors, slurred speech (ironically many of the symptoms MS sufferers are trying to alleviate) and physical and psychological dependence (Acta Neurol Scand, 1987; 73(3):190-4).
Steroids may curb excessive autoimmune activity, but in the long run will render patients susceptible to viruses which can severely aggravate existing symptoms (Townsend Letter For Doctors & Patients, Feb/Mar, 1996, 32-3; see also WDDTY, 1996, 7(2): 1-3, 11-12).
MS can also be caused by medicines used to treat other conditions, most notably human insulin. Since it was introduced 10 years ago, human insulin has become associated with a catalogue of side effects, most commonly the loss of warning signs of an impending hypo and increased severity of attacks, but also MS like problems including memory loss, pain in the limbs, loss of motor function and epileptic like fits.
Human insulin is not "human" at all but genetically engineered to resemble true human insulin. In the BMJ (August 8, 1992) doctors Gareth Williams and Alan Parker endeavoured to explain why it is associated with neurological complications. "Human and porcine insulins differ in only one out of 51 amino acid residues; although apparently trivial, this change evidently affects the physiochemical and pharmokinetic properties of the molecule, as porcine insulin is more lipophilic than human insulin." The more lipophilic fat soluble porcine insulin is more easily utilized by the brain and thus able to modulate the effects of low glucose concentrations on hypothalmic or other neurones.
Other drugs might also play a part in bringing on MS. There has been a report of a patient with experimental allergic encephal omyelitis being treated with sulfasalazine and developing multiple sclerosis (Lancet, 1990; 335: 409-10). Finally, while there is a growing body of opinion that childhood vaccinations may cause damage to the myelin sheath and thus precipitate the development of MS later in life little if any research has been done on the subject.