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I'm sure this should be the 2009 Annual Evidence Update on MS!What I'd really like to see from the MS research world is an analysis which shows (i)what more we know about the disease compared to a year ago and (ii) what more we know now compared to ten years ago. In an ideal world MS research would be a mountain with the peak as full knowledge about the disease / a cure available. I haven't got a clue from the hundreds of research papers published each year whether we are near the top, half way up, or still at base camp! Given the various disciplines involved (imaging, genes, virology etc etc), it looks as if there are several teams of mountaineers all over the place. I'm not clear who's responsible for overall co-ordination or whether some teams have any idea where they are (GPS problems). I'd like to see one indisputable fact be published in the next year (e.g. EBV the trigger or not)or a flow diagram showing the event which kicks it off and the cascade of subsequent events.
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A great analogy! You have to admit things are happening; we just lack the necessary insight to tie it all up. May be things will become clearer later this year. For example, we will let you know when our "endophenotype" review paper is published; this will set out the framework for a body of research to get to the root of the problem.
Prof G,I don't doubt things are happening, I'm just less convinced that it is as co-ordinated an effort as I would like to see. Coming up with words that would win scrabble contests is definitely a core competency of most MS researchers e.g. endophenotype.I have no doubt you and your colleagues are working very hard on this, but as a patient the real research findings (and hopefully better treatments)can't come quickly enough.All the bestIan