Multiple Sclerosis – Part 3
The Oxidative Model of Multiple Sclerosis
Majid Ali, M.D.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an oxygen problem. It is caused by impaired or blocked oxygen signaling. I explained these two sentences in the first and second part of this series respectively. In this part 3, I present some text from my book, In RDA: Rats, Drugs, and Assumptions (1995), to provide a frame of reference for readers who might be interested how my notions of the diseases shifted from my observations made in the autopsy room to what my microscope taught me, and then finally to my oxidative and oxygen models of disease.
The Multiple Sclerosis Series
* Part 1: Multiple Sclerosis – Know the Basics, Please!
* Part 2: Multiple Sclerosis – The Oxygen Model of Multiple Sclerosis
* Part 3: Multiple Sclerosis – The Oxidative Model of Multiple Sclerosis
* Part 4: Multiple Sclerosis – The Cortical Model of Multiple Sclerosis
* Part 5: Multiple Sclerosis – Healing Through the Bowel
* Part 6: Multiple Sclerosis – The Reversal
Oxidation In Nature is Spontaneous
In RDA: Rats, Drugs, and Assumptions, I began with the following simple statements about spontaneity of oxidation in nature: “
Oxidation is Nature’s grand design to make certain that no life form lives forever. Oxidation—the loss of electrons, in scientific jargon—is a spontaneous phenomenon; it requires no outside prompts nor does it involve expenditure of energy. By contrast, reduction, the process that provides counterbalance to spontaneous oxidation, requires expenditure of energy. The spontaneity of oxidation is—without any doubt in my mind—the basic cause of aging. Furthermore, accelerated oxidative molecular damage is the root cause of all illnesses.
In RDA: Rats, Drugs, and Assumptions, I went on to proposed my oxidative model of diseases with the following words: “In medicine, it is prudent to shy away from theories that attempt to explain a large number of biologic phenomena by a single concept. The probability of being right would drop precipitously if anyone was to propose that all diseases are caused by the same fundamental event. And, yet, that is exactly what I propose in this chapter. I have many sound reasons for doing so. In this chapter, I marshal extensive evidence developed by a large number of researchers of oxidative injury as the cause of disease. I also present many of my research and clinical observations of accelerated oxidative molecular injury that eventually causes clinical disease. Finally, I describe direct evidence of oxidative injury to blood cell membranes and blood plasma proteins that—in my view—provide incontrovertible evidence to support my theory that all diseases are caused by accelerated oxidative molecular and cellular injury.”
Oxygen: The Molecular Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Oxygen launches, sustains, damages and terminates life. The essential molecular duality of oxygen holds the key to understanding human biology—how we stay well when we are healthy and how we get sick when we are ill. In clinical medicine, we usually have a clear understanding of the essential need for oxygen, but we rarely concern ourselves with the destructive potential of oxygen.
Living things that are capable of utilizing oxygen are composed of two families of molecules: 1) one family that makes certain that no life form lives forever. [I call these molecules aging oxidative molecules (AOMs)]; and 2) another family that makes sure that living beings have a chance to live out their normal life spans. [I call these molecules life span molecules (LSMs)]. The balance between AOMs and LSMs, in essence, is the basic equation of life.
Dr. Jekyll oxygen is molecular oxygen—atmospheric oxygen that sustains life. Mr. Hyde oxygen is nascent oxygen—atomic, toxic oxygen that kills life. The essential tragedy of our time is this: Our technology is rapidly turning life-sustaining, molecular oxygen into life-destroying, nascent oxygen. To solve the health problems caused by unbridled nascent oxygen, we use drugs that further increase its oxidant effects.
Multiple Sclerosis Is Caused by Oxidative Injury
The above text summarizes how I looked at neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, MS, and others, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These early notions were based on my decades of autopsy and microscopic studies, as well as my early years of work with patients with MS in the integrative model.