UB researchers launch MS study
University at Buffalo researchers in the department of neurosurgery will launch a study on a new therapy for multiple sclerosis patients.
The double-blind study will test the safety and efficacy of interventional endovascular therapy, known as “liberation treatment,” on MS symptoms and progression.
Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, principal investigator, was featured in a New York Times story about the therapy published June 28. The therapy uses balloons and stents to open narrowed veins based on a theory by an Italian researcher that veins in the neck and chest might cause improper drainage of blood from the brain, resulting in eventual injury to brain tissue.
To remedy these blockages, the Italian researcher, Dr. Paolo Zamboni of the University of Ferrara, has treated MS patients with angioplasty, a treatment commonly used by cardiologists and other endovascular surgeons to treat atherosclerosis. There have been no large studies yet on the efficacy of the treatment, although the procedure has begun to be used by some doctors around the U.S. and abroad on an experimental basis.
Researchers at UB will launch a study to determine if such a therapy to correct blockages will improve MS symptoms or progression. The Prospective Randomized Endovascular therapy in Multiple Sclerosis (PREMiSe) will be the first randomized, double-blind study of balloon angioplasty for MS.
Siddiqui will work with co-investigators Dr. Elad Levy and Dr. L. Nelson Hopkins, both also with UB’s department of neurosurgery.
The first phase of the study is taking place this week, when 10 MS patients from the U.S. and Canada will undergo the procedure at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital. A second phase will randomize 20 MS patients to undergo either the procedure or a sham angioplasty. Based on the results, researchers will pursue an extension of the protocol to study a larger number of patients.
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