Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Lovecraft's Physical Ailments

I brought up the possibility that multiple streptoccocal infections and their syndromes - rheumatic fever, strep throat, scarlet fever, St. Vitus Dance (chorea) and so forth might have led to indefinable other syndromes with odd symptoms. One of those I mentioned was MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Even in the early 21-st century, MS has a wide variety of symptoms, and many individuals go years without a diagnosis, though they suffer great and varying traumatic and dibilitating symptoms.

Here is a new study, and it clearly points to a virtual 100% certainty that many MS syndromes are environmental only. That is, a geographic region, or some other traumatic (an infection?) environmental impact causes this in one individual, but bypasses another - even when they are identical twins.

We don't know what plagued Lovecraft, nor did he, but it caused him great discomfort and long periods of seclusion and inactivity - though when it subsided he was gregarious and filled to the brim with energy. This appeared even in his early childhood, and became more pronouced as time went on culminating in poikilothermia.

One possibility, with some probability, is that multiple streptococcal infections between the ages of 6 and 19 caused him long term nervous systems stresses - and that these are currently incurable and reasonably elusive today, much less in his era.

Read on ...

DNA comparison of identical twins finds no silver bullet for MS
Research may point to environmental trigger

(Excerpts from a report by Tina Hesman Saey, Web edition Science News, Thursday, April 29th, 2010

A new study has come up empty-handed after pursuing a genetic explanation for why one identical twin developed multiple sclerosis while the other stayed healthy.

{The researchers did a genetic blueprint of a pair of identical twins.}
{The results appear in a report published April 29 in Nature.}

“We looked under a lot of rocks and we found no differences that we could replicate,” says Stephen Kingsmore, a geneticist at the National Center for Genome Resources in Santa Fe, N.M., and leader of the new study. The finding “points to some novel environmental trigger that must be very important to the disease. We don’t know what it is.”

{A technical exposition ensues, implying that a more obscure cell – a so-called B cell - may be implicated. These are responsible for the nervous system cell insulation.}

In multiple sclerosis the immune system attacks and damages the myelin sheath that helps speed electrical communication between nerves, the equivalent of scraping the coating away from an electrical wire. The damage may result in pain and symptoms such as loss of coordination and vision.

In the new study, a pair of female twins were studied. One of the women developed multiple sclerosis at age 30 while her twin remained healthy. The twins are now old enough that the healthy one is not likely to develop the disease.

The team also measured gene activity in three sets of identical twins, including the sisters who had their genomes sequenced. The researchers did find some minor differences, but none could explain why one twin got sick and the other didn’t.

Link: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/58731/title/DNA_comparison_of_identical_twins_finds_no_silver_bullet_for_MS

1 comment:

Lady Lovecraft said...

Very interesting!!! Thank you :o)


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