New Hope or False Promise for MS Patients?

A look at Paolo Zamboni's 'liberation procedure'
By Patrick Spain,  Newser User
Posted Jan 31, 2011 2:54 PM CST Posted Jan 31, 2011 2:54 PM CST
Promoted on Newser Jan 31, 2011 10:02 PM CST
New Hope or False Promise for MS Patients?
Heather Tuck suffers from the effects of MS and is being diagnose as potential candidate for research into whether an abnormality in blood vessels leading to and from the brain play a role in (MS).   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

While multiple sclerosis has long been thought to be an immune disorder, Italian researcher Paolo Zamboni has posited that it may be something else entirely. Zamboni thinks that the disease may be caused by inflammation created when blood cannot exit the brain because of clogged veins. He calls this chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI. His proposed solution is something he calls the "liberation procedure," which involves inserting a small balloon into the clogged vein to clear it.

The procedure has helped some, but not Marc Stecker, a blogger with MS who writes extensively about the disease and was interviewed by NPR. He tried it to little positive effect, but says that he may have tried the procedure too early in the research cycle. Some doctors are skeptical and believe the procedure is unnecessarily dangerous. Others think that the clogged veins may be a symptom of the disease rather than its cause. Meanwhile, Zamboni continues his work—with the hopes of MS sufferers riding on the outcome.
(More multiple sclerosis stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.