Wien Med Wochenschr 1985 (Jan 31); 135 (1-2): 20–22
According to the present opinion multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by a concurreance of various factors. This predisposing factor seem to be related to a disturbance of the lipid- and fatty acid metabolism, characterized by decreased concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and essential fatty acids (EFA) in the plasma, the blood cells, the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and white matter of the brain in patients with MS. A disturbed absorption of EFA could be excluded. Now the question arises whether there is a disturbed utilisation of EFA with the consequence of biochemical changes in myelin and blood cells. According to lipid-chemical and lipolytic enzymological studies a disturbance of the fatty acid elongation system as well as primary increased activation of the phospholipase A1 is conceivable. According to the demonstrated results the conception of a metabolic immunological caused generalised defect of the biological membranes - especially those of the myelin sheath and platelets - as predisposing factor for the increased platelet aggregation is possible. Even though these ideas do not yet allow a concrete pathogenetic conclusion, the prostaglandins (PG) might be of importance because their precursors are fatty acids and influence the immune mechanisms. Possibly, new approaches follow from the synopsis of present working hypotheses for an extended biochemical-immunological model of multiple sclerosis. Further immunological and laboratory methods should concentrate on differentiating MS from other diseases of the central nervous system and on diagnosing the disease in its early stage. The results of this work are fully discussed in other publications. Separate prints can be requested from the author.