Description of the scientific research for which the fund was created for: Neurologists at the University at Buffalo are conducting a research study that could overturn the prevailing wisdom on the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS). The researchers will test the possibility that the symptoms of MS result from narrowing of the primary veins outside the skull, a condition called “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency,” or CCSVI. This narrowing restricts the normal outflow of blood from the brain, causing alterations in the blood flow patterns within the brain that eventually causes injury to brain tissue and degeneration of neurons.
The preliminary findings are based on a pilot study conducted at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis center (BNAC) part of the Jacobs neurological Institute, University of Buffalo, and at the Universities of Ferrara and Bologna, Italy. The study showed that several abnormalities affecting the predominant pathways that return venous blood from the brain to the heart occurred more frequently in MS patients than in controls.
The new study will involve 1,600 adults and 100 children. The cohort will be comprised of 1,100 patients who were diagnosed with possible or definite MS, 300 age-and-sex matched normal controls, and 300 patients with other autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. The technical name of the study is “Combined transcranial and extracranial venous Doppler (CTEVD) evaluation in MS and related diseases”. Enrollment in the study has begun and will continue for two years. MS patients from across the U.S. are eligible to participate in the study. To determine if the preliminary findings can be repeated, Dr. Zivadinov and Dr. Weinstock-Guttman organized the present study, which will evaluate both the velocity of blood flow through both the brain's blood vessels and the extracranial veins, using Doppler ultrasound.
All study subjects will undergo a general clinical examination and a Doppler scan of the head and neck, blood draw, extensive environmental questionnaire to identify potential MS risk factors, MRI of the brain to measure iron deposits in lesions and surrounding areas of the brain using a method called susceptibility-weighted imaging. A sub-cohort of consecutive patients and controls will undergo MRI of the veins of the neck to confirm diagnosis of CCSVI.
Purpose of donation: To support the CTEVD research study currently taking place at the University of Buffalo. At the moment, the rate of enrollment in the CTEVD study is limited by available local resources. Your contribution will allow faster enrollment in the study and provide important data before specific endovascular treatment can be recommended to the patients with MS.
Mail donation: Please make checks payable to the University at Buffalo Foundation and mail it to University at Buffalo Foundation, Center for Tomorrow, University at Buffalo North Campus, Amherst, NY 14260. Please be sure to write on the check that the donation is to support the 9333-648226 – Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center Fund.
On-line donation: go to www.buffalo.edu
Click on the Giving to UB link. Click on the Make a gift online link. Follow the instructions. Please be sure to type in the box “Please specify any additional instructions:” that your donation is to support the 9333-648226 – Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center Fund.