Notwithstanding the fact that medical science has been grappling with MS for over 100 years, knowledge about MS causes remains somewhat murky. The causes of multiple sclerosis are not as straightforward to identify as, say, the causes of Down’s syndrome or of Lyme disease. The former is identified in a straightforward manner- as a chromosomal condition that results from the presence of all or part of an additional copy of chromosome 21 in the cells. The latter is a bacterial infection that is typically spread by tick bites.

As for multiple sclerosis, it is not possible to point at one single factor, genetic or environmental, and to claim that that is the definitive cause of the condition in a particular individual. Rather, one can suggest that the individual is genetically predisposed towards developing MS by pointing to changes in a particular area of chromosome 6. One can then talk about additional factors that could have triggered the activation of autoimmunity in the individual: perhaps a viral or bacterial infection, perhaps the experience of vitamin D deficiency or other nutritional deficiencies. At each stage of the process to identify the possible causes of multiple sclerosis in the individual, care is taken to speak of “likelihood” and “probability”; words such as “might,” “could” and “predisposition” are used. All of these suggest the recognition on the part of medical scientists that MS is a tremendously complicated condition and that it might very well turn out to result from a variety of pathways.


Alternative Medical Perspectives on Multiple Sclerosis Causes


In the field of alternative medicine, if indeed it is legitimate to speak of one such field, there are often alternative theories about the causes of disease. These include theories about what causes multiple sclerosis. Some of them are consistent with what conventional medicine says: the causes of multiple sclerosis are a variety of factors acting in concert with each other. None of them acts singly to trigger multiple sclerosis, but when combined, each one plays a part in increasing the vulnerability of the individual’s nervous tissue to demyelination and inflammation. Alternative theories can also diverge greatly from what conventional medicine says: some proponents of alternative medicine have challenged the very idea that MS is an autoimmune disorder. Some of them also emphasize malnutrition as being the primary factor behind MS.

Despite the fact that MS causes are not readily identifiable, it has been possible for many to manage their MS better using their knowledge about the involvement of nutritional deficiencies and bacterial and viral infections in the development of MS to manage the condition. By taking the appropriate nutritional supplements and treating their infections, they are often able to keep their worst symptoms under control.