Immunology: A Clue in Multiple Sclerosis

In the past dozen years, doctors have tried no fewer than 50 promising drugs and other treatments for multiple sclerosis. In no case has the promise been fulfilled. "MS" remains an inexorable and eventually fatal disease, especially baffling because in its early stages victims may have sudden and severe attacks of partial paralysis or blindness, then make what seems to be a good recovery. The respite, however, is distressingly brief, and when the disease is farther advanced, the disabilities become permanent.

Doctors have long known that at this later stage, the nerve fibers controlling the affected muscles have lost much...

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