Last week, New Brunswick Tory Leader David Alward promised to set up a $500,000 fund to help New Brunswickers with MS seek liberation therapy. On Monday, Alward and the Conservatives were elected with a majority government. Here's hoping Alward will follow through. $500,000 won't go far, but it would be a start--and a precedent.
Thanks to Tim Donovan of Angioplasty for All and others in New Brunswick who helped to make this an election issue.
Here's the Canadian Press story:
FREDERICTON - New Brunswick's Conservatives say they would establish a $500,000 fund to help multiple sclerosis patients seek liberation treatment — an unproven therapy for the disease.
The Tories made the election campaign promise Wednesday, saying how much money each patient would receive would be worked out at a later date.
"We want to offer financial support to New Brunswickers with MS and help
them get their lives back," Tory Leader David Alward said in a
The treatment involves unblocking narrowed neck veins and has been the subject of heated discussion in recent weeks.
Last month, federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced that an expert
scientific working group would be created to monitor studies already
underway, based on advice from the Canadian Institutes of Health
CIHR and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada have advised Ottawa to put off funding clinical trials until results from
research projects investigating the procedure are known.
Saskatchewan, however, has decided to fund clinical trials of the treatment.
Newfoundland and Labrador plans to pay for a study of MS patients who
have chosen to undergo the procedure.
Anywhere from 1,300 to 1,800 people in New Brunswick have MS, according to the Atlantic chapter
of the MS Society.
New Brunswickers go to the polls Monday.
Liberation treatment was developed by Italian vascular specialist Dr. Paolo
Zamboni, who has hypothesized that MS may be caused by a narrowing and
twisting of veins that drain blood from the brain.
Zamboni has said poor drainage could lead to a buildup of blood-borne iron deposits
in the brain, which could cause damage to neurons characteristic of MS.
But multiple sclerosis has long been viewed as an autoimmune disease, and
Zamboni's contention that it is caused instead by vascular anomalies has
been hotly debated.