Studies dismiss narrowed neck veins as cause of MS

New research calls into question “breakthrough” treatment for multiple sclerosis

A handful of new studies are suggesting narrowed neck veins—a condition called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI—are not the primary cause of multiple sclerosis, the Canadian Press is reporting. This condition has been a focus after Italian Dr. Paolo Zamboni theorized it could be behind MS, suggesting that reduced blood flow leaves iron deposits in the brain and leads to neural lesions that characterize MS. Zamboni has tried reversing the condition by unblocking neck veins using balloon angioplasty to relieve symptoms, a treatment that many Canadians have sought abroad since it isn’t available here. One new U.S. study took Doppler ultrasounds of 499 subjects, and found the prevalence of CCSVI was 56 per cent for patients with MS, 42 for those with other neurologic diseases, and 23 per cent in healthy controls, which suggest it isn’t a primary cause of MS. Other, smaller studies have also been presented, including one from a Calgary resaercher looking at 67 people who underwent magnetic resonance venography of neck veins and found vein abnormalities of 20 per cent of people with MS, and 20 per cent of those without.

Canadian Press

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