Saskatchewan has become the first province to fund clinical trials into a controversial new treatment for multiple sclerosis pioneered by Paolo Zamboni. The Italian doctor found that MS patients had blocked veins in the neck and thorax, a condition Zamboni dubbed Chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI, and that administering an angioplasty to clear the veins reduced symptoms and in some cases halted progression of the disease. Until now, provincial governments have refused to weigh into the heated debate on CCSVI which has pitted the medical establishment’s call for more scientific research and MS patients’ eagerness to be tested and treated now. Premier Brad Wall’s announcement “serves up an uncomfortable challenge to political leaders elsewhere who have largely ignored the emotionally charged debate,” the Globe and Mail writes. It’s an issue with particular resonance in the province which has the highest rate of MS in the country. “There isn’t anybody who doesn’t have a family member or friend who is battling it,” Premier Wall told the paper.
Looking for more?
Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.