Monday, 10 August 2009

PPMS "terminal"?

Debbie Purdy, a fellow PPMSer, took her case to the House of Lords and won. In future it will be possible for someone to escort a person wishing to end their life to Switzerland (“Dignitas”), for example, without risking prosecution. I wrote the piece below after hearing complaints, from MSers, about PPMS (Ms Purdy’s type, though in the media, not always made clear) being described as “terminal”.

So, let’s take a look at this…

Q. What is “primary progressive multiple sclerosis” (PPMS)?

A. First of all, it’s MS by definition: multiple plaques of sclerosis in the brain and spine.

Q. What are ‘plaques’? What is ‘sclerosis’?

A. Plaques are lesions which “dig in” to tissue causing it to harden/break down. This result is called ‘sclerosis’.

Many in the medical establishment believe that MS is an auto-immune disease with the immune system itself attacking the body: in MS, specifically, the myelin sheath (coating) normally protecting nerve fibres.

I, personally (along with many naturopaths), believe the sclerosis to be caused by the yeast Candida Albicans (see: “Candida Albicans and MS – a life story”).

The results are the same but not the “treatments” (see: “Supplements, Herbs & Essential-oils” for my own).

Q. What do we mean by ‘progressive’?

A. All bodily tissue is made up of fibres and neurons (nerve cells) belonging to the “central nervous system” (CNS). Once attached to the CNS the lesions worsen and multiply, spreading thoughout the body, causing increased degeneration. In PPMS this degeneration “progresses” continually with no remissions.

Q. Which parts of the body depend on the CNS being healthy?

A. Every single part. We are our nervous systems: our immune systems; every organ - large (brain, heart, lungs) and small (eyes, ears, bladder, bowels); our limbs and muscles; every sense and function (i.e. thinking, seeing, hearing, tasting, swallowing, urinating, defecating).

Every part and everything about us, is dependent on our CNS.

Q. So, is PPMS (as opposed to the other types of MS) terminal?

A. How long can someone last with a progressively degenerating CNS and a compromised immune system?

Conclusion: PPMS is terminal, if only because of the complications arising as a result of it.

Note: the most common causes of PPMS-related death are: suicide; choking; pneumonia (or other respiratory disease).

Disclaimer: as always, I write only from experience and research. I hold no formal qualifications in medicine.

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