Alternative Medicine and Multiple
Allen C. Bowling, MD, PhD.
October 2000, 272 pages
Reviewed by Dr. Ben
The MS community is one that hungers for
knowledge. As experts in the field, there is an interesting dichotomy between our
informed discussions on immunomodulatory agents and FDA approved symptomatic therapies
versus the use of complementary and alternative therapies. We know that our
patients frequently use these treatment modalities but we have little knowledge about
their risks and benefits.
Dr. Allen Bowling's recently published book,
Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis attempts to address this problem. Dr. Bowling
objectively reviews different complementary and alternative therapies. The
rationale behind the therapy is discussed. If controlled trials of the
therapy exist, these are disclosed. At a minimum, Dr. Bowling has done an excellent
job of making his reader more aware of the myriad forms of non-traditional
therapies available. Important precautions regarding placebo effects and
misunderstandings about the immunology of MS are emphasized. As counselors and advocates for
our patients, Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis is a much needed
About the Reviewer:
Dr. Ben Thrower is a board certified
neurologist and the medical director of the HolyFamilyMultipleSclerosisCenter. The Holy Family Multiple
Sclerosis Center, located in SpokaneWashington, opened in February of 1999.
Currently, the center is following 1200 people. The
center provides comprehensive care to the MS community and also participates in
clinical research. Dr. Thrower has worked with the National Multiple
Sclerosis Society both on a local and national level. He currently serves on the
Medical Advisory Board of the society and on the Executive board of the Inland
Northwest Chapter of the MS Society.