Well, perhaps I wasn't specific enough. As most people know, MS does not "kill" you in the way, say, Lou Gehrig's disease might. It, however, does weaken you, and, in advanced cases, leave you incapacitated for an extended period of time.
This weakened state, in my mother's case-- after about
20 years of being unable to walk, and near the end, not move much at all--- I think severely deconditioned her heart. She woke up one day, complained of feeling dizzy, passed out and died. Autopsy showed no classic heart attack, heart blockage, stroke or any other obvious cause of death. Her heart just stopped beating. She had been complaining of heart palpitations and racing heart for about
a year before she died, but two cardiologists found nothing organically wrong with her.
So, I am left with no real "answers", but my assumption is that after not being able to exert herself or even move much for two decades, her heart muscle was just extremely weak. Who knows, really.
Even if MS doesn't "kill" you per se, it does leave folks--- at least in severe advanced cases like my mother had--- overall physically weakened and susceptible to other things. So, in that regard, it does kill you after all.
(Realize, I'm talking about
advanced cases where people become unable to walk or move for, say, a decade on end. Most MS patients, thankfully, never reach this level of disability.)
Another friend of the family who also had MS became entirely unable to move at all, or even eat or drink or talk. The last year or two of her life she was on IV and intra-gastric feeding before she died, as I recall, of an opportunistic infection in her lungs. This sort of thing happens when you don't move for extended periods of time. So, MS killed her as well.
(She was actually the worst case I have come across. My mother was still able to chew and swallow and speak, though she had lost control of her excretory organs.)
Anyhow, these are just my observations.
Post Edited (GregB777) : 12/28/2007 3:38:31 PM (GMT-7)