Controversial MS treatment will be tested in B.C. and Quebec

TORONTO – The federal government is going ahead with a patient trial of a controversial experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said Friday that researchers will begin recruiting patients on Nov. 1 to study the treatment for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI.

That treatment involves unblocking neck veins that Italian vascular surgeon Paolo Zamboni has suggested could be a cause of MS.

About 100 patients are expected to take part in the trial to be conducted in British Columbia and Quebec.

Vancouver MS researcher Dr. Anthony Traboulsee will head the $6-million study being funded by Ottawa, the MS Society of Canada and the provinces where the trial will take place.

Traboulsee said researchers will monitor MS patients over a two-year period in order to obtain scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy of the CCSVI procedure.