Multiple Sclerosis: Complete Literature Review and Appended Hypothesis by Alex Dunedin
This is a complete manuscript created over several years investigating the medicine and science of Multiple Sclerosis. It forms a literature review which has been arranged and where a particular line of thought has been drawn out to form a hypothesis. Trying to answer the questions of just what ‘Multiple Sclerosis’ is and what causes it led me to seeing a pattern of events which seemed to make sense in context with all the information which I had read.
This is the product of that work typeset as a printed document with contents page and index.
All the original texts can be tracked down by the bibliography which is online with live links to each reference’s source. Ideas in science and medicine need to go through a process of scrutiny before their value can be understood in practical terms.
My particular interest lies in how we can successfully approach the structuring of a hypothesis in human medicine working from the starting point of literature review:
- All discoveries in science are found at the interface of a problem – for that part, the study of an illness informs the study with a way of focusing the gathering of information on a discrete phenomenon.
- The focus of biochemistry was chosen because studying the molecules and reactions which have a regular place in the biological system produces much more stable and cogent information.
- A focus on human medicine gives the advantage of having access to a large and highly refined store of knowledge which has been collected, tested and compared over time; it represents one of the most observable of the sciences.
- As a condition Multiple Sclerosis has the advantages of being a long known, well described and thoroughly documented body of knowledge which can be drawn upon to falsify, criticize and correlate.
- The document was written with a forensic literary methodology which tracks each statement concisely back grammatically to the original source so that phrasing can be easily compared.
- The idea of a ‘natural coalescence of information’ runs through the literature review process whereupon a ‘critical mass’ of the right exemplars sets up the conditions which enable pattern discovery.
This work on Multiple Sclerosis represents a part of a larger project on the philosophy of science – an enquiry into understanding ‘how do we know what we think we know’ and ‘what tools do we commonly use to develop knowledge’. I have a particular interest in the emergence of ideas from creative spaces which then go into the process(es) of scrutiny we refer to as ‘scientific method’.
I am writing on theories of knowledge and learning with an attempt to answer some of the problems which are presented. Questions like what value does a library of books have ? What can we know about things which we have never witnessed ? Can we arrive at a truthful and demonstrable understanding of a phenomenon from reading significantly ? Can I know anything ?