Sunday, 16 August 2015

MS and Urbanization

Dehghani R, Yunesian M, Sahraian MA, Gilasi HR, Kazemi Moghaddam V.The Evaluation of Multiple Sclerosis Dispersal in Iran and Its Association with Urbanization, Life Style and Industry.
Iran J Public Health. 2015;44(6):830-8

BACKGROUND:Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease with unknown factor. The prevalence and incidence rate of this disease had an upward trend in many regions in the world such as Middle east and consequently in Iran over the recent years. As the risk factors of this increased trend and high-prevalence is unknown in Iran, the current study has been designed to evaluate the correlation between MS dispersal with urbanization, life style and industry, as an ecological research.
METHODS:This retrospective study was designed as an ecological approach in 2011. Data were collected from three databases by high precision from national registry plans. The subjects of study were provinces of Iran (n=31).
RESULTS: The obtained results indicated an ascendant trend of MS during the recent years, as the incidence of this disease reached from 26/100,000 people in 2006 to 44/100,000 in 2011. There is a direct correlation (P<0.05) between the percentage of urbanization and the percentage of male smokers with the prevalence of MS in provinces.
CONCLUSION: The role of smoking was more highlighted in this study as a probable factor in increasing risk and causing MS disease. Urbanization could be introduced as an augmentative factor, but this is a combination of several complex factors. 

MS is on the rise in Iran and smoking is one small risk factor, but urbanization again comes into the picture as a risk factor for MS.

This is not a new concept
Kotzamani D, Panou T, Mastorodemos V, Tzagournissakis M, Nikolakaki H, Spanaki C, Plaitakis A.

Rising incidence of multiple sclerosis in females associated with urbanization. Neurology. 2012;78(22):1728-35


  1. I wonder: Is there any evidence that smoking causes damage to sperm/DNA which raises MS incidence in the smoker's children? Or is the link with smoking only thought to be direct, i.e. children passively smoking in the home?

  2. I do not smoke. But was "passive smoker" because of my father, who was a smoker for about 26 years when he had to quit after cardiac surgery and for the account of type 2 diabetes also have been secondhand smoke from my boyfriend for three years when he then decided to quit too ... My father was very rude even, smoked wherever he went, did not respect anybody any room in the house, the car, etc. Since my boyfriend was more educated, still occurring situations where there was no way not to inhale the smoke ...

  3. I am more curious about the aspects of Urbanization that contribute to higher rates of MS. Sunlight (vitamin D) & smoking in studies have both had apparent linkage. Urban environments tend to be more stress oriented than rural or suburban type environments. Fumes from automobiles, busses all differing environmental factors in compare to rural environments.

    I do not think in urban environments more or less people smoke than in do suburban or rural environments. However, in urban environments where economics are more at play what is affordable and not may result in people purchasing a different quality of cigarette and even food.

    For example I know that grocery retailers target (as does W/Mart) inner city urban areas differently than suburban areas. Things such as produce, meats etc. no matter the location will pass US FDA requirements however they often tend put stuff that has a lesser shelf life into those environments. The thought process is they will move faster. Additionally in produce / meats for example retailers sell what does not meet their retail standards to smaller marketers, mom and pop stores or public market's for example.

    Thus is it a combination of quality of foods and quantity of life (stress etc) in urban environments or something else?

    Comparison's in a wealthy city to one of similar size that is more poverty ridden would be interesting as would a study of a less congested and populous city in a same latitude to a populous congested city.

    1. I was brought up in inner city London. We lived closed to Spitalfields(fruit & veg), Smithfield(meat) and Billingsgate(fish Markets. We ate fresh food every day no freezer bought from our local market. This was before food was doctored to keep fresh on supermarket shelves. I go along with the pollution theory. I didn't eat food from a supermarket until well after onset of my MS.

    2. I am in the US of A's. :) LOL

      Food and environmental factors as science has shown are surely contributors to many forms of illness and even new strains thereof. Urbanization, sub-urbanization .vs. rural add many additional factors in living.

      I am a programmer. I have been doing this before anyone knew the names of Microsoft or Apple as common terminology. Logic is programming. Mr. Spock might say logic is life and in many ways, it is. Our brains are very similar to what one might term a bio-computer. I did alot of work on neural network programming when it was the buzz.

      Completely rudimentary in comparison to even the workings of a mouse's brain or for that matter, an ant. Far more complex that is microprocessor capable, but, down at lowest common denominators quite similar.

      Every decision we make comes down to true/false, yes/no, on/off.

      With that said its important to know that "random" does not exist. Random is a man made term pretty much for that which is too complex to understand, find paths or threads to follow in some patterned order. So, that means its random. Not at all.

    3. The brain is the ultimate in as far as pattern matching machines go. From the time we are born we learn, commit to memory patterns. Colors, letters, sounds, all of it. Recalled, joined together along with real-time sensory ability, processing, pattern matching, out comes. Its unreal. Really. From a person who understands how computers work at hardware levels to software its truly astonishing, even the ants brain is unbelievable. Random? Not at all. Complex, oh yes. All the sub-systems and more.

      Its currently one of my thoughts that MS is not quite an Auto-Immune disorder. That actually the immune system is doing its job. But, the triggers are the key. Like a bunch of doors that all need be pretty much in a line. Then emotional, stressful, anxiety driven emotions / though patterns cause the immune system to think there is an antigen in the brain causing this abnormal functional stress. Not just mentally but these emotions also display physical traits.

      The immune system flips on. It goes to the source. The brain. It attacks the neuro transmitters, note, NOTE the neurons themselves but the connections, the connectivity. Once this happens, the active immune system remembers. Just like it remembers a flu or mumps. So its ready to attack again.

      Everyone being different, emotionally, physiologically etc. the range that flips a subsequent attack into occurrence may well vary wildly just as does the characteristic makeup from individual to individual.

      MS goes farther back in time than pollution, nutritional additives/preservation chemicals. I believe that these items set into place a further imbalance making the mental/bodily stresses swing more wild, like a pendulum and thus increasing prospect to the immune system of said misinterpretation it makes as noted above.

      I may be way off. But 3 out of 4 people I know had their initial CIS during very very heightened physiological / mental distress.

      There is more urban distress than rural.

      There is more MS in the world, its growing, as is the stress upon people.

      One of our goals with MS Unites is rather intrusive though private questionnaire's so we can get that form of data to people like Gavin to properly and independently evaluate and KNOW what they are looking at. Where as I would not.

  4. Where I live in Upstate NY we have very high rates of MS. I do not know TONS of people, yet, out of my 20-25 noted friends 4 of them have MS. Everyone here knows someone with MS. Our county has 750,000 citizens (adult & youth). I have been told MS here ranges around the 20,000 number in our county. Thats like 1 in 35 people. Allegedly in Canada across Lake Ontario the numbers are higher than here. Here as well we appear to have higher incidents of glioblasthoma.

    Again of my 25 or so inner circle I have know two who ended up with glioblasthoma both in the same age range of 50 years old. One has passed away. The other has had surgeries. He is still with us. His wife has MS, Lupus and has had breast cancer that also has resulted in a form of leukemia. His wife told me years back that her neurologist stated that we are the MS capital of the world. Dont know if thats true or not.

    1. If your county has 750,000 people, then it has 1/500 of the population of the US. There are 400,000 Americans with MS, so if there are 20,000 people with MS in your county, then it has 1/20 of the Americans with MS. That would mean that it has a rate of MS which is >20 times higher than the national average. This would make living in your county *the largest* risk factor for MS ever identified. Are you sure this is correct?

    2. Yes, my English cousin moved to New York and she died of glioblastoma and so did her husband.

  5. The population statistic is correct. The MS statistics are very hard to pin down but that's a number I have heard several times. This general region (Great Lakes) both US and Canada have sizeable numbers of MS, Lupus, Cancers and then some. Presumably much due to the past where industry was all around the region using buckets of chemicals and back then there were no truly enforced environmental rules. Who knew?

    I remember acid rain fears all too well and of course there was well... 40-50 years of prior chemical excesses before understanding even began.

    Do these factors cause MS or cancers or auto-immune disorders, genetic mutations? No. But science shows many of the chems are contributing factors, some directly causal.

    For example, one small town literally 1 mile square had four areas of the community that the EPA cited at the same level of toxicity as love canal. One has been cleaned up. Superfund went under years ago. The underground aquafir toxic, was used as the town water supply for many many years. Toulene, Xylene, Methyl Ethyl this and that. Was covered up for years and years whilst people got ill, birth defects the works.

    Pinning down MS numbers in Upstate NY I am still working on. MS Numbers globally are on the rise as well apparently. While Vitamin D is cited alot and geography related to latitudes it does not explain for example Australia in lower latitude.

    This is why I am in the mindset that there are many contributing factors. One of which being weakening of the blood brain barrier itself. When the right conditions exist and the life stress (emotional etc) get to very intense levels, bang, the immune system thinks there is an antigen in the CNS. That'd make perfect sense. Why is Miss "XXX" hitting all ranges of excessive emotion which has physiologic effect as well. Her husband cheating, boozing etc etc.

    Why might women have the three and four to one ratios of MS? Because they are more emotionally based. Emotional well being is quite tied to physical well being and visa/versa.

    I propose the immune system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do in MS.

    Its not an auto-immune disorder. If a computer has a virus the computer is still doing exactly what it is supposed to do. The virus scanner definitions files are akin to the memory of the active immune system and the scanner akin to the immune system. MS is sorta like a whats called a root kit virus. Once its installed its hard to get rid of (used to be impossible in PC's). The way many a root kit is now handled is having a record of the PC files prior to software installs. So essentially a reset can take place.

    Stem cell therapy in russia kills the immune system, literally. The restarts it with Stem cells. Similar and the results in stopping MS apparently pretty effective even in reversing many already existing symptoms.

    Should the MS numbers in this region be what I have heard its understandable why no tangible numbers would be available. Then things become toxic. Toxic for people raising families here but also would result in people globally going, "I dont want to be in areas where this might be all around".

    I think MS numbers globally are under estimated as well and the fact that the numbers are on the rise displays that. I believe pharma is aware of this as are governments hence a massive effort in recent years to mitigate it. There is lots of money there but beyond the money. If it were defacto found by say the Mouse Doctor that what I have stated is on the button? Imagine the global impact in urban areas, suburban areas? Economic catastrophic blamo just like that.

    1. New York State NMSS Chapter indicates they support 12,000 families in 50 counties I believe. The statistics must be available some how an estimate from health insurance etc
      does anyone from the NMSS care to comment. In UK on MSer used freedom of information of GP to find number of people with MS in different areas. They found high prevalence.

      Australia MS in lower latitudes is the reverse of the northern hemisphere because both are farther from the equator and so get less sunlight.

  6. By the way? Where are you finding a national average figure?

    All I appear to be able to find is very generalized numbers. Its nearly always "An estimated 400,000".

    Estimates, well... Estimates are like a measured guess. Census exists because estimates are not liked when tangible figures are necessary. Go figure.

    If I roll two dice 7 comes up most often. Thats like estimates.

    Estimates are akin with the term random. Its a rather useless figure. Real figures that are workable could be garnered but thats the sort of stuff that can cause cascade types of matters amongst populous when released public like.

    Random as I noted is a term applied to that which is so complex science (not all scientists) use to describe what seems to have no logic. Doesnt mean there isnt logic. In fact, there is.

    Computers cant generate random numbers. Even when attempted to create random results in atom smashers, doesnt happen. Its predictable.

    Random in the universe does not exist. Thats a problem. It doesnt exist in MS. It doesnt exist in the flu. It doesnt exist in evolution. There is cause and effect. Its not random. Complex as all get up yes, not random.

    Same in spirituality. Big Bang makes zero sense. From nothing came something. Well there is a profound WTF is that?

    Versus intelligent design. That cant be. No? It makes alot more sense. We create all forms of things. We have changed living things. We grow things from stem cells and we cant make it from here to the next star.

    Humanity likes define it's logic in a box and we really dont do that well as a species. Heck, we dont even do it well from culture to culture more or less foresight given hindsight of history.

    I could go on but some wouldnt grok it and some that do wouldnt like it. Proving intelligent design is actually pretty easy.


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