Ann Romney credits horseback riding, acupuncture, and reflexology for helping her cope with multiple sclerosis, but a Wall Street Journal feature on her condition suggests future sufferers could credit Romney herself with their treatment. Reporter Thomas Burton had a rare conversation with Romney, who usually doesn't speak in detail about her condition, but the most interesting part wasn't the would-be first lady's own comments. Rather, it was those of Dr. Howard Weiner, who runs the MS center at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where Romney gets treatment. He said her own immune system could hold a clue to more effective treatment for other MS sufferers. Her disease has mostly gone into remission and he's enrolled her in a large-scale study at the hospital, which follows more than 2,000 patients for 20 years. Writes Burton:
"We're looking into whether she has a protective factor that we could give to other people or a detrimental factor she is missing," Dr. Weiner said. "We're beginning to learn some of the factors leading to more benign MS."
In general, her prognosis appears to be good. "It is true that if people do well for a period of time, they'll tend to do well later," Dr. Weiner said.
The whole feature is worth a read at the Wall Street Journal.