Chronic Cerebro Spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) was first presented in a series of papers by Paolo Zamboni from the University of Ferrara in Italy. He is a vascular specialist (interventional radiologist) who found a high incidence of constricted veins leading from the brain and spine in patients with Multiple Sclerosis . He also found that by using simple angioplasty on those veins, could open them back up and allow MS patients to experience different degrees of symptom relief.
Two thousand ten marked a year of anxious debate and fierce resistance in the neuroimmunological community to Zamboni's hypothesis that blocked veins have a role in the clinical process of MS. Despite this resistance, about 5,000 patients have been treated worldwide with angioplasty on their blocked jugular and azygous veins. Some treatments have been done as part of clinical trials while many others are done in a less standardized fashion as medical tourism to exotic locals. Many patients report remarkable recovery, while others report little immediate benefit to treatment.
Doctors are learning how to best diagnose and treat CCSVI. The treatment differs from patient to patient and from clinic to clinic, as each case has it's own complexities and no standard of treatment yet exists. Experts don't know enough yet to formulate recommendations about the standard care. MS patients watch anxiously, and wonder if this new treatment might relieve some of their suffering.
The first doctor to try Zamboni's theory in the US was the cardiothoracic specialist Dr. Michael Dake at Stanford University in April 2009. He treated about 45 patients that year as part of a pilot study. Those results, while mixed. were encouraging enough to warrant a full scale, double blinded, placebo controlled clinical trial. While there were two early adverse events (one, a migrating venous stent which required open heart surgery, another being a unrelated but fatal cerebral hemorrhage that caused much concern in the medical press) few ill effects have been reported from testing CCSVI in the many patients treated so far. Many patients report improved quality of life after treatment, even if they are left with some challenging disabilities from having severe MS for so long prior to treatment. Symptoms like chronic fatigue, cognitive fog, cold hands and feet, bladder control are widely reported as improved.
Please reference the links provided below to learn more about CCSVI and the latest research developments.
A nice summary. And if you check out the list of board members, there are some very familiar names: http://annetteconnection.com/Meet-our-Board-Members.php