Abstract for: Modelling the initiation, progress, symptoms, expressions and possible treatment of multiple sclerosis
Methods of systems analysis were applied to the illness multiple sclerosis (MS). By mapping causality among the many causes affecting multiple sclerosis, we have been able to show that it is a systemic illness, with multiple interacting causes and mechanisms. By using causal-loop diagrams we synthesized a systemic picture of MS in which the role of allergies, pathogens, molecular mimicry, venous vascular dynamics, membrane stability, immune system, and oxidants-antioxidant dynamics were integrated. There are important components that make up MS: 1. The root cause: Permeable blood-brain barrier (BBB) and transmission of provocative substances into the brain 2. Triggers of inflammation, oxidation and immune responses: a. Antibodies attachment to myelin surfaces and oligodendrocytes b. Immune system provoking substances creating antibodies c. Leakage of blood into the brain through the permeable BBB promoting oxidants. 3. Reinforcing and linked loops keeps the MS system running: a. Oxidant cycle b. Immune cycle c. Scarring cycle The different mechanisms are linked together into an integrated model for the disease. The model outputs show good correlation with observed data. The model was used to derive a strategy for treatment, and several scenarios were investigated.