CCSVI for MS Patients

CCSVI stands for chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency. The term is used to describe compromised flow of blood in the veins that drain the central nervous system. It has been hypothesized to play a role in the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS). This hypothesis, first put forth by Paolo Zamboni in 2008, suggests if the veins in the neck and chest that drain the central nervous system are not functioning properly, the central nervous system will not function properly either. In particular, myelin-making cells around the smallest veins, called venules, will be damaged; inflammation will set in, nerve cells will eventually die causing blindness, weakness, loss of normal sensation, imbalance, memory and cognitive deficiencies.

Balloon angioplasty and stenting have been proposed as a treatment option for CCSVI in MS. As a form of treatment, outside the trial setting, these procedures are not currently recommended by any medical association or regulatory body in Canada. The CIHR, the Canadian Medical Association, The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada, Collège des médecins du Québec, and the Canadian Society of Vascular Surgery all feelfurther research on both the possible link between CCSVI and MS and the safety of CCSVI must be done before the treatment is offered in Canada.

However, the proposed treatment, which has been coined "the liberation procedure" is available in many other countries and Canadian MS suffers with the means to do so have been travelling abroad for treatment. Further information on this therapy option can be found on the following websites.

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