Even after veins are successfully opened, there is still the damage that has been done, which may include weakened neurons or iron deposits in the brain or a weakened blood brain barrier or myelin-sensitized t-cells. The procedure cannot be a guarantee that the relapses will end. But I have heard from people who said that their relapses were less and their recovery from the relapse quicker after the procedure. That's anecdotal and there are others who've had better or worse experiences.
For myself, I haven't had a relapse since my procedures but that doesn't signify much yet since my most recent relapse was in 2010 and the one before that was in 2005 and before that, although I wasn't diagnosed with MS yet at the time, was probably 2001. My MS diagnosis was in 2006 but the beginnings of my neurological symptoms was way back in 1991. Angioplasty was performed in Feb 2011 and then in July 2011, although that second angio was on the left jugular only, so my right jugular is 20 months post-treatment. As of last neurologist appt, my neuro is still calling my MS benign, which used to feel like a cruel joke (because my fatigue and cogfog and vision issues did not feel benign and were kinda running my life) but now with those symptoms ameliorated, the diagnosis of benign feels right.
Thanks all for the positive feedback. Cece, maybe I should simply write the veins "malfunction" stiffen or weaken? anyway they stop working correctly and with each "attack" things may deteriorate.
Well, we're in disagreement too that the valves ever worked well enough to say that they, at some point, stopped working well. But I have to reread what you wrote under the congenital theory in your first post.
There is a condition where the valves within the jugular veins weaken, and to confuse everybody it's also called an insufficiency, but it is a very different situation in which there is backwash from the flow that should be headed toward the heart, and this slows down flow or causes reflux, and is associated with transient global amnesia immediately after a valsalva event (valsalva being when you bear down, which causes the jugulars to expand as flow is temporally stopped from going forward; childbirth is the biggest valsalva event out there). It's because that's a condition in which the jugular valves weaken that it is important to distinguish that this is not what is going on in CCSVI; in CCSVI, the valves are stiff and don't let flow pass. But you are also talking about veins as a whole, and not valves. The research on collagen in veins shows that people with MS have abnormal amounts of collagen III in our veins, which makes the veins stiffer. If something could be done to reduce this stiffness in the veins overall, I expect it would have a positive impact on the flow, because veins that were less stiff would be most distensible which would mean that excess flow could pool in the jugulars while the flow waited to pass through the chokeneck of the valve stenosis. If the jugulars have a great capacity to distend, it might mean the flow can at least get out of the brain and into the jugulars, so that the refluxing and stasis could be more a problem in the neck and not a problem intracranially.
My idea for reducing overall jugular stiffness is for there to be gentle ballooning of the entire jugular, not just the concentrated ballooning at the area of the stenosis. But I am open to other ideas.
Now that we know that MS is in fact a venous blood circulation disorder, I can imagine the stress being so extreme that it literally pushes the blood right back up into the brain and spinal cord, like a pressure cooker.
Hypertension or moments of high blood pressure may be something that pushes more blood flow into the brain (good) but which increases the focal pressure points on the blood brain barrier at points where the incoming flow meets the refluxing flow and their individual pressure measurements temporally combine to be additive (bad). Definitely a pressure cooker.