Science Daily on CCSVI - word is spreading!

A forum to discuss Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency and its relationship to Multiple Sclerosis.

Science Daily on CCSVI - word is spreading!

Postby HappyPoet » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:44 am

I haven't seen this posted yet. My apologies in advance if it's been posted elsewhere. I learned some new things I didn't know:

Neurologists Investigate Possible New Underlying Cause Of Multiple Sclerosis

ScienceDaily (Oct. 27, 2009) — Neurologists at the University at Buffalo are beginning 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.

CCSVI is a complex vascular condition discovered and described by Paolo Zamboni, M.D., from Italy's University of Ferrara. In the original Italian patients, CCSVI was found to be strongly associated with MS, increasing the risk of developing MS by 43 fold.

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.

"If we can prove our hypothesis, that cerebrospinal venous insufficiency is the underlying cause of MS," said Robert Zivadinov, M.D., Ph.D., UB associate professor of neurology, director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) and principal investigator on the study, "it is going to change the face of how we understand MS."

Michael Cain, M.D., professor and dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said a positive outcome from this trial would have enormous implications for the treatment of MS. "Being able to identify those at risk of developing MS before symptoms take their toll could change the lives of millions of persons who now face inevitable lifestyle restrictions."

Margaret Paroski, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer of Kaleida Health, parent of Buffalo General Hospital where the BNAC is located, commented: "Will Rogers once said, 'It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we do know that ain't so'. Challenging basic assumptions about diseases has lead to some very important discoveries.

"When I was in medical school, we thought peptic ulcer disease was due to stress. We now know that 80 percent of cases are due to a bacterial infection. Dr. Zivadinov's work may lead to a whole different way of thinking about multiple sclerosis."

The preliminary findings were based on a pilot study at the BNAC headed by Zivadinov, and at the Universities of Ferrara and Bologna, Italy, directed by Zamboni and Fabrizio Salvi, M.D, respectively. 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.

This research, supported by the Hilarescere Foundation of Italy and the BNAC, was conducted to replicate the findings of the Italian investigators.

"Results of this preliminary study, which involved 16 relapsing-remitting MS patients and eight age-and-sex-matched healthy controls, showed that all the MS patients, but none of the controls, had chronic insufficient blood flow out of the brain," said Zivadinov.

Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, M.D., UB associate professor of neurology and a co-principal investigator on the pilot study, added: "The images from this study were acquired using a method called Doppler ultrasound. The method identified anomalies in the venous blood flow associated with strictures, malformed valves and peculiar webs within the large veins of the neck and brain"

Weinstock-Guttman directs the Baird Multiple Sclerosis Center at the Jacobs Neurological Institute (JNI), UB's Department of Neurology. The JNI and BNAC are located in Buffalo General Hospital of Kaleida Health.

Advanced magnetic resonance imaging scanning (MRI) of the MS study patients conducted at the BNAC also identified distinct areas of iron deposits in the brain, and showed that those deposits may be associated with the location of MS lesions and sites of impaired drainage. The scans also revealed increased brain atrophy and changes in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the MS patients.

These results, which form the basis of the current larger investigation, were presented at the 25th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis held in September in Dusseldorf, Germany

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. 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.

"The prevailing wisdom that central nervous system damage in MS is predominantly the result of abnormal immune responses against the patient's nervous tissue has been challenged by research findings, which have demonstrated a significant neurodegenerative component in MS and the progressive loss of neurons" said Zivadinov.

However, these inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes occur concurrently in MS and vary considerably among patients, making it difficult to identify the cause, or causes of the disease. Consequently, the origin and development of MS remains poorly understood, and its cause remains elusive."

To determine if these preliminary findings can be repeated, Zivadinov and 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.

The technical name of the study is "combined transcranial and extracranial venous Doppler (CTEVD) evaluation in MS and related diseases".

All study subjects will undergo a general clinical examination and a Doppler scan of the head and neck to acquire images of the direction of venous blood flow in different body postures. Participants also will provide blood samples, and complete an extensive environmental questionnaire to identify potential MS risk factors.

All MS patients will undergo MRI of the brain to measure iron deposits in lesions and surrounding areas of the brain using a method called susceptibility-weighted imaging. Iron findings on these images will be related to neuropsychological symptoms. The neuropsychological part of the study will be conducted by Ralph Benedict, Ph.D., professor of neurology and psychiatry at the JNI, UB's Department of Neurology.

A sub-cohort of 250 consecutive patients and controls will undergo MRI of the veins of the neck to confirm diagnosis of CCSVI.

Murali Ramanathan, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will analyze blood samples for proteins and soluble factors associated with central nervous system injury. He also will be looking for other factors of interest in MS research, such as vitamin D metabolites and cigarette smoking, which have been linked to increased risk for developing MS as well as MS disease progression.

The data will be unblinded at three predetermined time-points, with the initial unblinding scheduled for November 2009. For more details on the study, send an email to ctevd@bnac.net.

Zivadinov said results of the study may lead to a larger multicenter North-American trial that will evaluate the occurrence of CCSVI in MS.

Adapted from materials provided by University at Buffalo.
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Postby HappyPoet » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:57 am

This news release was also picked up by Medical News Today - the more, the better.
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Postby 10yearsandstillkicken » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:17 am

Chuck
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Postby mrhodes40 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:55 am

We discussed the original press release out of Buffalo but it is great to see it picked up!
I'm not offering medical advice, I am just a patient too! Talk to your doctor about what is best for you...
http://www.thisisms.com/ftopic-7318-0.html This is my regimen thread
http://www.ccsvibook.com Read my book published by McFarland Health topics
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Postby MrSuccess » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:29 pm

looks like a good week. No ... I take that back. It's a great week. The message is spreading .

I'm interested to know if the Health Insurance Industry are making any moves to get CCSVI rolling. This new idea has the potential to save them millions of dollars in medication expeditures.

Any 'moles' here at TIMS working in the Health Insurance Industry ? :idea:




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Postby jay123 » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:43 am

Hopefully the heath industry is looking at the big picture. This could initially cost them a lot of money if every MS patient needed surgery, pus probably those of us already dx'd will need meds at least for a while. They probably will be the toughest to convince it is needed surgery.
The savings though could come if people were dx'd with CCSVI BEFORE MS symptoms appeared, if it is corrected then perhaps med's wil never be needed for them.
Reminds me of my our conversation with my wifes varicose vein specialist. He was saying that insurance does not cover spider vein removal, though they could eventually cause health problems. He said if they ever did it could bankrupt the health care industry, as almost everyone could have them removed.
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Postby radeck » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:55 am

I don't see why the health insurances would try to save on the patients by not covering this procedure, instead of on the providers, by pressuring them to lower the cost. Everything is about several times more expensive here than in central Europe, although the same amount of education goes into physicians and the same equipment is used. Medications on the other side, like CRAB's and Tysabri, are only half the price over there, so it's not as easy to argue for lowering the price. I guess the problem here are medical malpractice laws, I don't see another reason for why MRI's or procedures are so much more expensive.
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Postby chrishasms » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:27 am

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Last edited by chrishasms on Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby radeck » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:32 am

chrishasms wrote:I'm telling you, if you can get Medicare. All of my doctors love it because they cover most things and they actually pay them on time and the money required. The fact I have Medicare is what got the doctor interested in me here in Denver.


That's a very interesting thing to hear! Explains why all people on Medicare got their MRV at Stanford pre-authorized, while my insurance, Healthnet, didn't.

chrishasms wrote:Then again I have doctors who want a public option so they can help everyone so I may have some weird doctors.


It seems to me like your doctors are sensible if they want to help everyone. What am I misunderstanding?
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Postby 10yearsandstillkicken » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:46 pm

The savings though could come if people were dx'd with CCSVI BEFORE MS symptoms appeared, if it is corrected then perhaps med's wil never be needed for them.


Seems like anyone who is having an MRI done as part of the diagnosis of MS, should also be tested for CCSVI. I have seen questions about the possibility that the CRAB's might be the cause or contribute to CCSVI. An initial MRV would answer that question. If those who have CCSVI have surgury, they may never need CRAP uh CRAB's. I am good for 5G a month for Tysabri. Not sure what the cost of the stent proceedure is but if we didn't need the CRAB's, the cost of MS treatment would be much less.
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Postby Sharon » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:27 pm

Chris wrote:
I'm telling you, if you can get Medicare. All of my doctors love it because they cover most things and they actually pay them on time and the money required


Just to clarify - Colorado (where Chris resides) may have a higher reimbursement for Medicare services than other states.
There are standard coverages for procedures, but the payment varies across state lines and even county lines. IF you live in a "healthy" state the reimbursement to providers is lower. You can "Google" Medicare - rates - fair. Here is just one of many articles:

http://www.news-medical.net/news/200906 ... ncern.aspx

Fair Medicare reimbursement is part of the debate in healthcare reform.

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