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October 1983

Therapeutic Fads and Quack Care

Arch Neurol. 1983;40(11):673-674. doi:10.1001/archneur.1983.04050100013004

Proposed treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) that reach public attention come from several sources. In a few cases, the treatment is based on widely accepted scientific data derived from studies in animals and humans and is designed specifically to attack the presumed pathogenesis of the disease. Examples include the attempts to "desensitize" or effect "tolerance" to basic protein.

In most instances, however, a treatment has been established as useful for some other disease and is being tried in MS for some logical or paralogical reason. Early examples in this category include each vitamin with a corresponding deficit in nerve function, as it became affordable (eg, niacin, thiamine, and cobalamin), and, more recently, all varieties of immunosuppressive therapy that have proved useful in diseases of presumably related pathogenesis (eg, corticotropin, prednisone, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, and plasmapheresis). Other examples include nutrients of disputed value and presumably ineffective immune-system factors, such as injected proteins

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