Might CCSVI be caused by a VIRUS?

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

Might CCSVI be caused by a VIRUS?

Postby Parvofighter » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:25 pm

Hello from a newbie!

Several blogs on Dr Zamboni's stunning breakthrough have alluded to a thought-provoking and important (potential) paradox: a) Why is MS more prevalent in colder climates (eg. Canada)? b) How do we reconcile this with Zamboni’s finding of structural changes in veins?

Here is my kick at the can – mostly a collection of (potentially connected) observations and hypotheses:
1) Higher latitudes have less sun;
2) Less sun = less vitamin D
3) Susceptibility to certain viruses is believed to be affected by low vitamin D levels
4) Some viruses cause inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis), particularly the inner lining or endothelium, narrowing the opening (lumen) of the blood vessel through swelling, vasospasm, immune complex deposition, etc.
5) Changes to the endothelium (lining) of blood vessels can affect “stickiness” of the vessel – potential for blockage?
6) Compromised blood flow might be like a snowball effect – think of river deltas, where “stuff” is deposited at the edges, as flow reduces
7) Is the problem in the veins, or in the valves of the veins? Consider that other auto-immune problems with oft-suspected viral involvement also have known valve problems (eg. Rheumatoid arthritis and heart valves – i.e. the mitral valve). Can auto-immune dysfunction in MS affect the valves in veins?
8) And FYI – hot new research (still to be replicated) from the esteemed journal Science - a retrovirus named “XMRV” was recently linked with chronic fatigue syndrome, malignant prostate cancer, and – you guessed it – atypical MS. Retroviruses are known to potentiate other infections (think HIV – patients often die of other opportunistic viruses). Has the MS community dug deeply enough into the viral angle?

In other words, the CAUSE of MS might not be narrowing of the veins exiting the brain, resulting in reduced flow, and iron deposition in the brain. That might be the RESULT of a viral infection, in turn resulting in inflammation of those exit veins, and blockage. And a viral infection might in turn be the result of a myriad of genetic/environmental/host factors.

In other words, all the causes of MS might ultimately be proven to be right, in their own way. It’s an “and/and” proposition. MS might be the result of Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency AND auto-immune dysfunction AND viral infection AND genetic factors AND…

I’m a rehab medicine professional, physically, if not intellectually sidelined by CFIDS/ME (Chronic Fatigue Immune Disorder Syndrome). But if I were a molecular biologist, virologist, vascular specialist, or pathologist, I’d want to look even further upstream, with the question in mind: “WHY ARE THESE VEINS BLOCKED”? I’d want to look pronto at biopsy/autopsy specimens of those blocked veins. Do immunohistochemical analysis to look for auto-antibodies against vascular endothelium. Do aggressive viral assays (eg. PCR) to search for an underlying virus – or retrovirus.

This might bridge those two seemingly disparate findings: latitude-related MS incidence, and physical changes in blood vessels.

I'm speaking from the perspective of a CFIDS/ME patient with an 11 year case of chronic parvovirus B19 (PVB19). PVB19 is known to cause endothelial inflammation, hence my stroke-like symptoms, atypical angina (coronary artery vasospasm) - and my positive heart biopsy for PVB19, antibodies against endothelium/myocardium, +ve PCR etc. I can't help wondering if the broader MS population turns out to have XMRV too - or another as-yet undetected virus. I can't help wonder whether a virus might be the smoking gun that connects MS with vasculitis - and potentially even with CFIDS/ME.

Those of us in the CFIDS/ME community are also waiting with bated breath for more info on the XMRV retrovirus - specifically for replication of this groundbreaking research. It would certainly explain why I can't fight off this chronic parvovirus infection - an infection most of us get, and just shrug off as a "flu"!. After all, that's what retroviruses do - they potentiate opportunistic infections.

Bottom line, I can't help wondering why some MS patients relapse after the Liberation procedure. Is there an underlying virus-induced vasculitis that re-blocks the veins? And if you identify and deal with the virus (if there is one), might that eliminate the need for repeat procedures?

Something to think about…

Congratulations to your community on this riveting CCSVI finding, and know that other patient groups are wishing you WELL! Oh, and “YES” to a Nobel for Dr Zamboni. I’ll eat my hat if his results aren’t replicated. [/i]
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Postby whyRwehere » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:36 am

I agree with you, some cases will likely have a virus causing them, while the lucky people will have just been born with 1 or 2 malformed jugulars or valves. Definitely needs as much investigation as possible, and thanks to Dr Zamboni, we are finally finding something worth looking in to.
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Postby cheerleader » Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:20 am

Zamboni and others are testing viruses, along with other endothelial disrupters, including bacteria, toxins, cigarettes and low vitamin D. We'll know more in the future. We've seen stenosis caused by cysts, bony structures, and congenital anomalies. There may be some exacerbated by viruses. My Jeff had his CSF checked for EBV, CpN and a multitude of bacterial and viral infections at his first flare....nothing. But his high liver enzymes and high altitude trip the week before pointed the way to hypoxic injury.
Every story is unique, as every MS patient is unique. The one thread in common is stenosis and reflux of blood.
cheer
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby mormiles » Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:33 pm

Steve's neurotologist thinks that yes, viral infection could be a CCSVI culprit.
Joyce (aka cypriane)~caregiver and advocate in Dallas for Steve (SPMS)----"Enter through the narrowgate..."
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Postby Parvofighter » Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:47 pm

Cheerleader, whyRwehere, and mormiles, thank you SO much for your replies on viruses and CCSVI!

Wow, it makes intuitive sense that there could be so many causes of stenosis and reflux of blood, including possibly viral. As a Canadian then, your replies make me wonder whether the typing of MS/CCSVI – particularly viral - will reflect latitudes. In other words, if the latitude/vitamin D/vulnerability to viruses angle holds up over time, might one not expect to find a higher percentage of MS patients in Canada and northern Europe for example, with virally-induced CCSVI?

If any of you have literature citations or researcher names to share on the viral MS angle, that would be most helpful!

Thanks kindly!
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Postby andrepol » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:29 pm

I complain since decades that the research remains done only by specialists.
It needs a systemic, pluridisciplinary approach as well.
The dogma remains: one disorder=one cause.
Then you find different "chapells" each one thinking they others are wrong.
I suspect this to be one of the reasons why technics and chirurgy keep on improving so steady and the medicine remains so pityfull slow, or what?
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