Vein narrowing in brain linked to MS

  • Deborah Condon

Over 56% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have been found to have an abnormality that leads to a narrowing of blood vessels in the brain, US researchers have said.

MS affects the brain and the spinal cord. Around 6,000 people in Ireland have the disease and it is currently the most common neurological disease affecting young Irish adults. There is currently no cure and the condition is characterised by a slowly progressing disablement.

These latest results are based on the initial phase of the first randomised clinical study to determine if MS patients experience a narrowing of the extracranial veins, causing restrictions to the normal outflow of blood from the brain.

Five-hundred people took part in this phase and the scientists are planning to examine a further 500 people with more advanced diagnostic tools. However according to lead researcher, Dr Robert Zivadinov of the University of Buffalo in the US, he is ‘cautiously optimistic and excited’ about the preliminary findings.

"The data encourages us to continue on the same course. It shows that narrowing of the extracranial veins, at the very least, is an important association in multiple sclerosis. We will know more when the MRI and other data collected in the study are available,” he explained.

The investigation is the first step in determining if a condition called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) is a major risk factor for MS. CCSVI is a complex vascular condition in which the veins are narrowed. It was discovered and described by Dr Paolo Zamboni of the University of Ferrara in Italy. Dr Zamboni's original investigation in a group of 65 patients and 235 controls showed CCSVI to be associated strongly with MS, increasing the risk of having the condition by 43-fold.

Both Dr Zamboni and Dr Zivadinov hypothesise that this narrowing restricts the normal outflow of blood from the brain, resulting in alterations in the blood flow patterns within the brain. These eventually cause injury to brain tissue and degeneration of neurons.

In the US study, CCSVI was prevalent in 56.4% of MS patients and also in 22.4% of healthy controls.

According to Dr Zivadinov, in this large MS cohort, the presence of CCSVI did suggest an association with disease progression. However the finding that 22.4% of healthy controls also met two CCSVI criteria requires continuing investigation, he added.

Complete data on the first 500 study participants will be presented at the meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April.


Resde - 13/02/2010 11:13

About time someone has reported on this.I've been sending link's & e-mailing TV Stations,Radio Stations,Doctor's & Neuro's about this for mounths (If not longer) & no one has responded.I got this proedure done in Poland 02/12/2009 with outstanding results.If anybody would like to contact me on FACEBOOK,i've a lot of information regarding CCSVI.You can find me @ Edser Donegan or Ireland Eire Ccsvi.

Slainte Mo Chara

Edser & Anna

wasagaman - 25/02/2010 15:22

I'm very interested in hearing your story about CCSVI and having the 'Liberation' procedure done in Poland. I want to have the procedure done myself and I am curious of what is involved with this operation.

Not sure how to contact you.

Resde posted on 13/02/2010 You can find me @ Edser Donegan or Ireland Eire Ccsvi. 

Thanks, James O'Donnell

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