Good morning from Vienna!
I was invited by "Jay123" to visit your site and am finally getting around to it after a hectic Christmas, plus trying to assist my old mother here in Austria (she had eye surgeries just before Christmas).
This site is an impressive project - good job!
My name is Dr. Karl Gross; I am a retired neurologist and have MS (since 1999). Some of you have already found some information about me on the web.
Disclosure: I get honoraria and travel expense re-imbursement from pharmaceutical companies when I get invited to give lectures and presentations about MS to physician and patient audiences, both in the U.S. and in Europe.
I am sure some will find this objectionable, to put it mildly. And if the site administrators, out of principle, have a problem with this, then just delete my entries, do let me know, and I will stay away from the site - your choice.
What I can assure you is that I am completely driven by scientific data, and not by any kind of marketing-hype - be it by "big pharma,"
"alternative medicine," or some other agenda. In fact, I think I am by now pretty good at spotting even subtle and "subliminal" attempts to pull the wool over people's eyes.
I felt it necessary to say all this by way of introduction, given the content of some of the posts that I already saw.
As to CCSVI:
It's an intriguing idea and most definitely needs to be throroughly investigated - no argument there at all. It's just a (very useful) habit amongst scientists and physicians to try to poke holes into new theories and explanations - to test them by fire, so to speak. It's not intended to demean or hurt anybody, nor is it an expression of narcissism - it's to help the truth come out! It's how science works: If your theory passes all those tests, then it actually will be refined by those very questions and will become even better established and, in medicine, can guide the development of better treatments. Or, if it doesn't hold up in this rigorous process of testing, it will become a footnote in the history of science, and will be forgotten. In a way, it's an evolutionary process.
In my view, there are lots of open questions about CCSVI. While the basic idea is attractive in many ways, there are also things we do not find although they should be there if the theory is correct (like the development of MS after blood clots in the venous systems draining the brain). In the absence of bigger and well-controlled studies (ideally, with a randomized, blinded "sham-treatment"-control group and large enough to allow significant differences to emerge based on what is known about the natural history of MS and the effects of current treatments), it is simply not possible to make a rational decision pro or con - especially in terms of large-scale recommendations.
I would encourage everybody to keep a cool head, but to stay well-informed!
Karl F. Gross, MD