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‘Cure’ for Multiple Sclerosis Promising, Trials Coming Soon

chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency

Zamboni's theory is that blockages in the veins leading from the head may cause iron deposits to develop in the brain. These deposits may cause Multiple Sclerosis.

A few months ago we mentioned how Paolo Zamboni developed an amazing possible “cure” for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that’s based on a radical new theory of what causes the condition. There has been rampant speculation inside and outside the medical community as to whether Zamboni’s theory and treatments are sound. Now, at least some of that speculation can be put to rest. A recent randomized study out of the University of Buffalo supports Zamboni’s theory. Not only that, but the University plans on starting a trial to test Zamboni’s treatment on a small group of patients. It’s too soon to know if this will confirm Zamboni’s results, but there’s no doubt that this is an exciting moment in the MS community. Is a cure finally within reach?

The University of Buffalo’s Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) has found that 55% of those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis have reduced flow in the veins leading from the brain. This was the first blinded clinical study to examine connections between Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and MS which were suggested by Zamboni. The University of Buffalo examined 500 adults and children (280 with MS) and found that while 55% of those with MS had signs of CCVI, just 22.4% of those without MS showed similar signs. This suggests that CCVI might indeed have some link to MS. To be sure, BNAC is pursuing further studies and has plans to begin a limited experiment on just 30 MS sufferers to see if venous treatments will relieve symptoms of the condition.

MS is a truly awful condition which often enacts a large toll on the physical and emotional health of those that have it. It’s also generally considered to be an auto-immune disease with a genetic bias, whose causes are somewhat nebulous. Zamboni’s theory that CCVI increases iron in the brain and that this is what causes the MS condition is definitely “outside the box”. Yet, his simple treatment (a angioplasty style stint in the veins leading to the brain) has had miraculous effects. If Zamboni is right, it lets one hope that other seemingly complex and perhaps unsolvable medical conditions may have effective answers just waiting to be found.

Of course, before we can start trumpeting Zamboni’s CCVI based treatment for MS, his work has to be verified. BNAC has taken a large step in that direction. They have a sample size that is almost an order of magnitude larger than Zamboni’s original study. Each subject was scanned on the head and neck via ultrasound. They performed MRI scans on those subjects with MS to measure iron deposits, and took genetic samples. While the doctors and patients were all aware of the MS status of each individual the test still qualifies as single blind as the analysts of the data were not notified of that information. A full report of the study will be made to the American Association of Neurology in April 2010 (about one year after the trial began).

Comparing rates of CCVI and MS symptoms, BNAC found that the degree of restricted blood flow seemed to have some correlation to the progression of symptoms. In other words, CCVI and MS may not only be linked, worse cases of CCVI may predict worse MS symptoms. To test this connection and increase their sample set, BNAC is recruiting another 500 subjects for a second round of the study (officially known as the Combined Transcranial and Extracranial Venous Doppler Evaluation or CTEVD). Those who wish to apply for the study should go here on the BNAC website. Fair warning, due to lack of funding the CTEVD study costs subjects about $4500 and it provides no medical benefit.

BNAC is also planning to perform a very limited study (just 30 people) on the efficacy of angioplasty on treating MS symptoms. Subjects will undergo extensive ultrasound, CT and MRI scans, and plenty of neurological examinations. They will also be given an intravenous angioplasty to treat venous narrowing and then monitored to see how they improve. Those who wish to learn more about the study should go to this page on the BNAC website.

As always when dealing with an illness that doesn’t seem to have a satisfying solution, there is considerable controversy surrounding the potential for a new cure. The US National MS Society has cautioned its members against rushing to a new treatment before it is thoroughly tested, For his part, Zamboni seems to be working with NMSS to keep patients on their immunomodulatory prescriptions (standard MS treatment) while the details of the CCVI-MS link are explored. According to the NMSS Zamboni’s own wife who was one of the first patients who underwent an angioplasty style treatment for her MS and who has not had MS symptoms for years, remains on her standard immunomodulatory medications. BNAC has made it very clear in its website (through a recent update) that its clinical studies are not treatments for MS and that the CTEVD study does not provide subjects with any medical benefits. In other words, as hopeful as Zamboni’s work may seem to be, the medical professionals are playing it safe.

Clearly those with MS are not so inclined to a safety-first attitude as those without the condition. Even a cursory Google search on the subject reveals many demanding and seeking venous solutions to their MS condition. This is not unlike the demand for stem cell treatments in the US which has furthered the medical tourism industry. The lessons to learn here is that there is an ever increasing pressure on the medical/scientific community to find effective treatments for all ailments as quickly as possible. Also, all barriers that might inhibit the speedy arrival of treatments, whether they are political, bureaucratic, or geographic, are going to be vigorously opposed by the associated survivor/sufferer community. Luckily for everyone on both sides of the pressure there are trends in technology which may accelerate the scientific process and yield faster results. For now, we do have to wait to see if CCVI will yield a cure for MS, but it’s certainly not too soon to hope.

[image credit:Gray's Anatomy]
[source: BNAC, University of Buffalo News]

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50 comments

  • Dante says:

    MS is perhaps one of the most disgusting conditions to date; it devours the individual, much like dementia..but with MS, they are acutely aware of it.

    If this procedure does stop MS (it dosent appear as though it would reverse it) then many, MANY people can be saved from…well, from the only kind of Hell the human brain can go through.

    • Joanne Chapman says:

      I totally agree with you Dante, I have suffered with M.S since I was 12 years old,now 37 and however many painkillers that I take a day it still doesnt completely help, I’m just so fed up of being in pain all the time.

    • Ourtwingirls2005-surveylady says:

      I was diagnosed with MS in 2006. I have RR MS and can function normally. Although, I have to inject myself everday with this DRUG..from Big Pharma..YUCK. I was diagnosed when my twins were 5 months old. It was horrible, indeed. I missed out on a lot of their babyhood. If I had to blame someone, it would be the US Gov for creating this disease. It me, it is a WMD and will strike anyone, women mainly, in their mid thirties.

      All I have wanted is a cure, but I will not go under the knive for a cure. Sorry!!!

      • Toomanykathryns says:

        I am so sorry to hear about your pain, it is a truly awful disease. When i was first diagnosed i went to a naturopath and changed my diet and lifestyle completely. i have not deteriorated or had any attacks since. that was 10 years ago. i read a lot of information from so many sources and was convinced, as i am today, that drug companies benefit from MS more than sufferers benefit from the drugs. Lifestyle changes in so many cases that i personally know of, and that i am proof of, have been more effective than drug therapy, particularly in Western degenerative diseases, of which MS is one. This is by no means an airy fairy hippy way of thought, it is not like taking herbs to cure cancer, MS is a very different disease- a disease that, like coronary heart disease, has appeared only in relatively recent times and increased rapidly in incidence, and is therefore very likely to be caused or at least precipitated by lifestyle changes that the human race has made due to the industrial and technological revolutions. Most of these changes centre around diet and exercise. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods, less saturated fat, be ready to change your life, and read this book, it will put some things in perspective and offer a different view – “Overcoming Multiple sclerosis” George Jelinek.
        Good luck to you all.
        kate

    • CafeCupid says:

      I hope this one will deliver some results and we all can have some normal life. I can’t be more agree with Dante, this is the worse disease because it has no definition like the other diseases. One day I can walk and the other day I can’t…. I’m going to cross all my fingers.

  • Dante says:

    MS is perhaps one of the most disgusting conditions to date; it devours the individual, much like dementia..but with MS, they are acutely aware of it.

    If this procedure does stop MS (it dosent appear as though it would reverse it) then many, MANY people can be saved from…well, from the only kind of Hell the human brain can go through.

  • mary says:

    As a MS victim I’m very interested in the CCVI study that the Univ. of Buffolo is doing. At the same time, I’m very careful of using the term “CURE”.I’m definitely looking to stop the progression of this devostating disease, but I’m also interested in what can be done about the current and past damage that has already taken place. Are there any studies being done to help and stop present and past damage? Mary

  • mary says:

    As a MS victim I’m very interested in the CCVI study that the Univ. of Buffolo is doing. At the same time, I’m very careful of using the term “CURE”.I’m definitely looking to stop the progression of this devostating disease, but I’m also interested in what can be done about the current and past damage that has already taken place. Are there any studies being done to help and stop present and past damage? Mary

  • yee ling wong says:

    this is old news. we live niagara and have known for a couple of months now and they do offer testing but no treatment to date. in the meantime anyone with MS should look into taking LDN to help …

  • yee ling wong says:

    this is old news. we live niagara and have known for a couple of months now and they do offer testing but no treatment to date. in the meantime anyone with MS should look into taking LDN to help …

  • jamiek88 says:

    My wife had stents implanted in the middle of a relapse in July of last year at Stanford. She has made a complete recovery and recovered all disability.

    She’d also had complete immune ablation a couple of years back taking the autoimmune theory to the max with no success.

    Still some answers to be found but for her it was the real deal.

  • jamiek88 says:

    My wife had stents implanted in the middle of a relapse in July of last year at Stanford. She has made a complete recovery and recovered all disability.

    She’d also had complete immune ablation a couple of years back taking the autoimmune theory to the max with no success.

    Still some answers to be found but for her it was the real deal.

    • Cynthia says:

      Jamiek88 – could you provide a link to the medical facility. Interested in learning more. Thanks for the post! It would be amazing to be free of the crippling of my hands, numb feet and this awful boa constrictor around my torso.

    • Lisa says:

      Did the procedure help with past problems? Also, to what extinct is she able to have control of her limbs? Any numbness?
      Is she MS free now?

  • Petar Cvjetanovich says:

    In 2004, my wife started Seltzer Therapy +ultrasound and has had almost 95% relief from Secondary Progressive MS. MRI shows no new lesions for 6 years. Zamboni’s research seems to support the blood circulation solution to this “miracle”. Bravo for researching the Cause and not just treating the symptoms.

    • Tina says:

      I’m very interested in this Selter therapy .Can you let me know how to find it ?

      • Rachel says:

        I am the wife of Petar Cvjetanovich. We live in Croatia where the Seltzer Treatment is fairly well known. The treatment consists of 24 days in a row of lymphatic drainage massage followed by ultrasound. I follow this treatment with a massage every two weeks, then repeat the Seltzer Treatment every six months.
        I had my first treatment with no knowledge of what it was. (All I knew was that I would get a massage every day so I went for it.) I had no expectations from the treatment or knowledge of what it was supposed to do.
        I was very surprised when after my first massage instead of waiting for my therapist to hand me my cane I got up from the massage table and found myself walking around looking for it. I was WALKING AROUND looking for my cane!
        I have had MS since 1979. It began as Relapsing Remitting, and over the years turned into Secondary Progressive. My condition got steadily worse and I could walk only very short distances and could not climb stairs normally. I walked with a cane inside my house used an electric scooter to get around anywhere else, and had an electric stairlift to get up the stairs to my front door.
        I have been walking normally, other than using a cane for balance outside my house where surfaces may not be level, and even climbing stairs like a normal person since 2004. We have put my electric scooter and stairlift in storage.

    • DAMARY TAVERAS says:

      can you please let me where to find such therapy, i went on line to see if i can find anyone who does this in Ma. but i keep getting no where, i just recently got diagnoise with MS, i am 34 and have three beautiful boys and a wonderful husband. i have a very stress full position at work and i am finding myself having a very hard time balancing it all together. please help

  • Tina says:

    I’m very interested in this Selter therapy .Can you let me know how to find it ?

    • Rachel says:

      I am the wife of Petar Cvjetanovich. We live in Croatia where the Seltzer Treatment is fairly well known. The treatment consists of 24 days in a row of lymphatic drainage massage followed by ultrasound. I follow this treatment with a massage every two weeks, then repeat the Seltzer Treatment every six months.
      I had my first treatment with no knowledge of what it was. (All I knew was that I would get a massage every day so I went for it.) I had no expectations from the treatment or knowledge of what it was supposed to do.
      I was very surprised when after my first massage instead of waiting for my therapist to hand me my cane I got up from the massage table and found myself walking around looking for it. I was WALKING AROUND looking for my cane!
      I have had MS since 1979. It began as Relapsing Remitting, and over the years turned into Secondary Progressive. My condition got steadily worse and I could walk only very short distances and could not climb stairs normally. I walked with a cane inside my house used an electric scooter to get around anywhere else, and had an electric stairlift to get up the stairs to my front door.
      I have been walking normally, other than using a cane for balance outside my house where surfaces may not be level, and even climbing stairs like a normal person since 2004. We have put my electric scooter and stairlift in storage.

  • Cynthia says:

    Jamiek88 – could you provide a link to the medical facility. Interested in learning more. Thanks for the post! It would be amazing to be free of the crippling of my hands, numb feet and this awful boa constrictor around my torso.

  • Lisa says:

    Did the procedure help with past problems? Also, to what extinct is she able to have control of her limbs? Any numbness?
    Is she MS free now?

  • Reena Vara says:

    Hi! i have just been diagonosed with ms april 2010. due to limping in my left leg and slurr of speech. I’m hopping this be the end of everything neurologist wants me to fight with my immune system and let it be till 2011 next year. It has been very devastating because i just lost my mother an i’m on my own to deal with anything. Please advise if there is a cure.

  • Camille says:

    Try cannabis or derivatives of cannabis.

  • RAYMOND says:

    I was diagnosed w/ MS last 2003,and begun to totally paralized in 2005,on my first medication my doctor gave me dexamethazone to the numbness and my pain.but as tym goes by i became totally paralized in lower extremity..i tried many supplements and it done nothing!now i’m trying to use LDN.its almost 3months now since i start taking of it from 1.5 to up 4.5mg!and as of now i dont see any recovery yet…..how i wish somebody could help to get some free theraphy..may God gave a wisdom to all doctors on how treat or cure this kind of desease!

  • RAYMOND says:

    hi reena im Raymond from philippines.im so worry bout ur case..its so hard to fight this kind of desease..just hold to the promises of God.He will never leave us nor forsake us..i was disable now bcoz of MS.but i do believe that God knows what is the best for us…evarything happens for a reason.GOD BLESS YOU!IF U WANT A fREND to talk with or chat,,add me up in fb.raymontena@yahoo.com

  • DAMARY TAVERAS says:

    can you please let me where to find such therapy, i went on line to see if i can find anyone who does this in Ma. but i keep getting no where, i just recently got diagnoise with MS, i am 34 and have three beautiful boys and a wonderful husband. i have a very stress full position at work and i am finding myself having a very hard time balancing it all together. please help

  • amanda says:

    is this a hoaks ?? what a scarey illness where living with, if there’s any pure evidence that this is for real ???? please pass it forward …

  • amanda says:

    is this a hoaks ?? what a scarey illness where living with, if there’s any pure evidence that this is for real ???? please pass it forward …

  • Masey_straker says:

    I have had progressive MS for the past six years a cure would be great so keep it going many thanks for your work Masey Straker keep searching you will find

  • Riley Vercher says:

    I have a brother with MS and we have just not had any success with trying to get him better,now he can’t walk or talk,he was just giving a feeding tube to nourish him.If there is anything out there that can help him please let us know.Very desperate right please help us!!!!!

  • George Goss says:

    There is currently only one cure for MS and it is not CCSVI. The procedure is costly and tough, but it does work as it has cured me. You can read about it here:

    http://themscure.blogspot.com/

  • William says:

    I don’t think much of this study, you got to be kidding, ! you have to pay thousands to be studied? anyway correlation of blood flow, and the cause or cure of MS is not very convincing, it’s studying symptoms not causes, this is pretty poor science.

  • Ron Tanghe says:

    I hope that it comes here to Toronto,What time that the sick people have before it gets very bad.Please give us some time to enjoy our live.

  • Cutemayi89 says:

    My mom has MS. Im only 14 years old, and i cant express how much this affects me and her. Thank god that ”soon” their will be a cure.

  • Filipfreddy says:

    I’m wondering if this treatment helps also pacients with Amiotrofic Lateral schlerosys ?
    If yes , what we need to do ? I want to enroll immediatelly !!

    Fredd Filip

  • Lawrencejoshua2010 says:

    is there any way this can be stop anyone

  • vitalichka says:

    Are there any updates that you know of since the original publication here? Thanks that would be greatly appreciated, I’ll wait for your response, thanks.

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