Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Multiple Sushi Sclerosis

You probably didn’t know this, but Seattle has the highest rate of Multiple Sclerosis in America. It’s about 3 times the rate of southern states and the reasons are somewhat of a medical mystery.

Anyway, I’m eating at my favorite sushi restaurant ($1 rolls at lunch, pretty decent quality) and I go into the men’s room. On the wall is a public service poster that reads:

“The Pacific Northwest has the highest incidence of MS in the nation. If you experience symptoms, get diagnosed!”

Then there’s a beautiful montage image of Mount Rainer, a waterfall, and some of Seattle’s lush evergreen forests with text asking intriguing questions:

“Is it in the air?
“In the water?”
“In the trees?”

To which someone scrawled in ballpoint pen: “Is it in the sushi?”


jon said...

In case you are wondering what the symptoms for MS may be....
Usually, beginning in your 20s you begin experiencing random neurological deficits or neuropathic pain. The most detrimental complication is optic neuritis. The treatment is often high doses of steroids and the diagnosis is often a good history and a CT. The course is random...neurological problems that come and go. Within the Cat Scan you see random plaques. As far as I know there is no current literature that links MS to any known cause, although I believe there have been studies that within certain lattitudes it is more prevalent. Interestingly, I believe it is more prevelant the further you go from the equator, this includes those who in there teens move to these areas.

Paul said...

The MS symptoms sound pretty unpleasant.

Maybe it has something to do with ambient sunlight?

Seattle also has a large portion of Scandinavian-descended people who may or not be more prone...also as an "educated" city, woman tend to have children later in life...40 y.o 1st time moms are not uncommon. Could it be a factor as well?