Multiple Sclerosis: An Autoimmune Condition

Multiple Sclerosis, MS

Multiple Sclerosis, MSMultiple Sclerosis and Fatty Insulation

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition where the fatty insulation that surrounds nerves, myelin, is degenerated into scar tissue. This occurs in the Central Nervous System (CNS) and when damaged interferes with the connection between the brain and body creating a wide variety of symptoms. Since 1991 there has been a 50% increase in the diagnosis of MS in women1 and is the second leading cause of disability in young adults.2 The cause for MS is still a mystery to researchers and the scientific community.

The founder of MRI, Raymond Damadian, found in a study of eight patients with MS that seven patients all had neck injuries.3

  •   The onset of MS symptoms began up to eight years after the traumas and correlated to their histories.
  • All of the MS patients exhibited Cerebral Spinal Fluid/CSF flow abnormalities on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with blockage in the canals of the cervical spine.
  • As a result of abnormal CSF flow to the brain it was found that intracranial pressure causing CSF to leak around the brain.
  • CSF contains antigenic proteins (tau proteins) which may cause the autoimmune response of demyelinations of axons characteristic of MS.
  • Patients without these conditions had no blockage in CSF in the cervical spine.

When the flow of CSF is decreased it is referred to as Chronic Cerebral Spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) and is theorized to be a major contributing factor in MS.4

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It is an intricate relationship between the neck, brain and how the entire body functions. This is why it is so important to have the upper cervical spine checked by a chiropractor. Studies have shown MS and CCVSI to be related to the misaligment of the C1 (Atlas) vertebra.5 In 2004 there was a retrospective analysis of 44 patients with MS who were analyzed for the presence of an upper cervical subluxation through xray analysis and adjusted when needed. Not only was there a reduction of MS symptoms but also progression in 91% of cases seen.6

  1. Noonan CW, Kathman SJ, White MC. Prevalence estimates for MS in the United States and evidence of an increasing trend for women. Neurology 2002;58:1:136-138
  2. Rubin S. Management of multiple sclerosis: an overview. DM;59:7:253-260.
  3. Damadian RV, Chu D. The possible role of cranio-cervical trauma and abnormal CSF hydrodynamics in the genesis of multiple Sclerosis. Physiol Chem Phys. 2011;41:1-17
  4. Weinstock-Guttman B., Ramanathan M., Marr K et al. (2012) Clinical correlates of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in multiple sclerosis, BMC Neurology, 12(26), pp. 1-6.
  5. Mandolesi S, Marceca G, Conicello S, Harris E. Upper cervical vertebral subluxation in multiple sclerosis with chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency: a pilot study. J Upper Cervical Chiropr Res. 2013;(3):65-70
  6. Elster EL. Eighty-one patients with multiple sclerosis and parkinson’s disease undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxation: a retrospective analysis. . J Vertebr Sublux Res. 2004;2:1-9.

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Dr. Craig Lapenski and Dr. Martha Schenk of Advanced Spinal Care, in Graham, Washington are your Graham NUCCA Specialists trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Their upper cervical clinic also serves Puyallup, Tacoma, Olympia, and Sumner. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, fibromyalgia, vertigo, neck and back pain, and more. More information can be found on our website at