This is just food for thought. I think most of the evidence from the researchers agree that these venous malformations are congenital ( you are born with them) so every MS patient had these BEFORE they had MS.
Before they had symptoms, and a diagnosis. I think before the iron build up and subsequent oxidation and inflammation got to a critical level disrupting the normal brain function.
All of these people...... where once considered "normal".
So the normal control group with CCSVI may be predisposed to development of increased brain iron in high levels and a hypoxemia (low Oxygen in the brain blood) to a level that causes impairment.
Because people of all age ranges develop MS and the venous lesions vary in the amount of reflux they cause......it might be that those with the venous malformations but no MS have not gotten to that tipping point.
As for the immune system, since this is a chronic congenital malformation, the reflux and its subsequent sequalae ( injury caused by) have been going on for a long time.........the immune system is designed to "fix", " and "clean up" "repair" damage and remove debris, toxins, poisons, any foreign invader. Its made to function well with the aid of oxygenated blood and cells. In CCSVI the immune system is overworked and working in bad conditions. Nerve cells like all cells like a healthy dose of oxygen and glucose to function.
I believe ( and this is just me thinking on overload) that once you get the reflux problem corrected and the oxygenation restored normal healing will be the mission of most peoples immune system.
Macrophages will attempt to get rid of iron ( they may need help) and myelin will regenerate as long as the axon is not dead.
We can not think of all the immune system parts as destructive- thats old thinking- We need to think of building a healthy immune system by healthy eating ( including anti-oxidants), fresh air ( no smoking) and exercise to help the body to repair itself.
I have seen many cases of Guillian Barre a known demyelinating disease recover and remyelinate - so it can happen- but it takes time and good healthly living.
These are just my 2 cents!
Cat (Catherine Somerville on FB)
My 35 yo daughter is newly dx 8/19/10 (had 12 symptoms)
Dx with Type A CCSVI- 1 IJV & double "candy wrapper" appearance of her Azygos
Venoplasty done Sept 21, 2010
Doing extremely well-