Italian with Ms Policella
Two Italian Researchers (and the Italian MS Society) Close Their Books On CCSVI Research
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First put forward by Italian vascular surgeon, Palo Zamboni, in 2009CCSVI’s connection to MS has been a controversial– to say the least. The general theory of CCSVI is that blocked veins in the neck cause blood to back-up into the brain and cause MS symptoms. If these blockages are removed, MS symptoms reverse.
Studiescontinue around the globe into the possible validity of the theory and the restorative procedure dubbed the “liberation therapy”. Two Italian researchers have, however, closed their books on research and their findings have prompted theItalian MS Societyto recommend against further tests to diagnosis and procedures to correct the condition.
"CCSVI is not a disease connected to multiple sclerosis.” Read their statement, and it continued, "there is no need [in clinical practice] to carry out additional tests to diagnose CCSVI, nor is vein surgery required."
The impetus for such strong wording came from a study that looked at over 450 MS patients - from 33 MS centers in Italy - who have had treatment for CCSVI.
While over half (53%) of patients reported subjective improvements in MS symptoms, only thirty (that’s 30 people, not 30%) showed improvement in theirEDSS scoresand just over half of the people had stable scores after 6 months. The remaining people had scores that worsened (by at least 0.5points) during the same follow-up period.
Looking at 171 patients with pre- and postsurgical MRI scans, new lesion activity was seen in 36% (with new gadolinium-enhancing lesions were seen in 26%). About 20% of patients with relapsing MS developed relapses during a median 29 weeks of follow-up.
Comparing objective EDSS scores with reported improvements presented researchers with stark contrast. Even though only 6.4% of people showed clinical improvements, over half of the total cohortreportedsome improvement and 47% reported definite improvements in their condition. And, while 20% of the patients had clinical relapses in the follow-up period, only 13% reported that their MS had worsened.
Now, we all know that EDSS scores are not the be-all and end-all of MS presentation. Symptoms such as cognitive impairment(cog-fog)and fatigue are not measured by this scale and are often reported as responding well to the liberation therapy.
In addition to the limited benefits, 15 serious adverse medical events occurred in patients who underwent treatment.
You can read more detail about thisreport from MedPage Todayfor further details. One such, which will undoubtedly be sited by those who support CCSVI treatment, is the fact that the researcher who compiled the data from across Italy has – in the past – received funding from pharma companies.
I look forward to more information due out in the next few months on studies here in North America.
Does this change your thoughts about CCSVI? Is the slight risk of serious damage worth the possible improvement in subjective symptoms? If you’ve had the liberation treatments, what are your thoughts of this research (please, not the guy reporting on the research… I’m kinda done being a whipping boy on that front)?
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
Don’t forget that you can also follow me via our Life With MS Facebook page, on Twitter, and our new group on MS Connection.org. Check out our bi-monthly blog for the UK .
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