More MS news articles for September 2002

Is multiple sclerosis a sexually transmitted infection?

[My note:

I believe that this is an ill-conceived, mischievous and attention-seeking hypothesis which is incompatible with the cited data and contrary to the conclusions drawn by many of the authors of this data.

The article offers no new information and many of the conclusions are not based on clinical, laboratory or study evidence.

In many respects, this theory is damaging to people with multiple sclerosis and has been roundly criticised by many experts in the field.

Christopher Hawkes is not an MS specialist - his specialist field is olfactory diseases. He is known for being a maverick.

I hear it with some authority that the Institute of Neurology are angry that it has been published as originating from their organisation.

It pains me to feature this abstract on this site.]

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2002 Oct;73(4):439-43
Hawkes CH.
Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1, UK.

It is proposed that multiple sclerosis may be transmitted chiefly by sexual contact.

Arguments favouring this include:

Family, conjugal pair, twin, and adoption studies are compatible with an infectious cause of multiple sclerosis if this is sexually transmitted.

It is not proposed that sexual transmission is the only cause but that inherited factors create a susceptibility to a sexually transmitted neurotropic agent.

It is hoped this hypothesis might encourage a new direction of neurological research.