Source: National MS Society
Updated December 16, 2009
Summary: Recent reports are calling attention to the idea that a phenomenon called CCSVI, a reported abnormality in blood drainage from the brain and spinal cord, may contribute to nervous system damage in MS. This hypothesis has been put forth by Dr. Paulo Zamboni from the University of Ferrara in Italy. Based on the results of his initial preliminary findings, Dr. Zamboni states that this pilot study warrants a subsequent larger and better controlled study to definitively evaluate the possible impact of CCSVI on the disease process in MS.
It has been proposed by Dr. Zamboni, but not yet proven, that CCSVI may be corrected through endovascular surgery, which involves inserting a tiny balloon or stent into blocked veins in order to permit the flow of blood out of the brain and spinal cord, a procedure that has been called ?liberation therapy? in some reports.
The National MS Society is undertaking the funding of new research on CCSVI in MS and has invited investigators worldwide to apply for grants that would explore this lead. These applications will undergo an accelerated review process by an international panel being convened in cooperation with other MS Societies to ensure an expedited, coordinated response. If this hypothesis is confirmed, it may open up new research avenues into the underlying pathology of MS and new treatment approaches to therapy.
Background: In a recent study by Dr. Zamboni and colleagues, the team evaluated abnormalities of blood outflow in major veins draining from the brain and spinal cord to the heart in 65 people with different types of MS, compared with 235 people who were either healthy or who had other neurological disorders. They used sophisticated sonography techniques to detect abnormalities of venous drainage. The investigators reported evidence of slowed and obstructed drainage in the veins draining the brain and spinal cord in many of those with MS. They also found evidence of the opening of ?substitute circles? ? where the flow is deviated to smaller vessels to bypass obstructions, and these were often found to have reverse flow (reflux) of blood back into the brain.
This news feed was provided to Stuart Schlossman, directly from the Nat'l MS Society