Before day 2 commences, a quick word on a wonderful symposium on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
MS epidemiologists and researchers dissected the topic Causes/Triggers of MS. Speakers were David Hafler, Alberto Aschiero, Lisa Barcellos and Larry Steinman. And the top 6 are
- Tobacco smoking
- Vitamin D deficiency
- EBV infection
- Overweight in early age
- High salt intake
I suggested to David we should only be looking for correlation rather than causation (an idea I picked up from a great book Big Data).
He strongly disagreed! He believes genome wide association studies (GAS) have confirmed the cause for MS. I think the search for a definite cause is probably futile but we define cause flexibly. Alberto made the point that even if all the known risk factors were eliminated, MS will still be very prevalent