What is Multiple Sclerosis and CCSVI?
Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, unpredictable, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. In the U.S. there are approximately 400,000 people living with MS and another 200 are diagnosed every week. MS is significantly more common in women than men, and even though the disease is typically diagnosed between the ages of 20-50, individuals as as young as 2 and as old as 75 are known to have multiple sclerosis. While MS is thought to be an auto-immune disease, there is no cure for it and the drugs that are available to modify the disease course are not always
effective, often have significant side effects, and are frequently very
Chronic cerebrospinal venous
insufficiency (CCSVI) is characterized by abnormalities and blockages in the
veins that drain blood from the central nervous system (CNS), the brain and spinal cord. CCSVI was coined by Dr. Paulo Zamboni in 2008 when he identified that many MS patients had venous abnormalities. Dr. Zamboni hypothesized that CCSVI could damage CNS tissue in a variety of ways, notably by breaching the blood brain barrier of stressed, dilated, and inflamed blood vessels, and leaking iron and other antigens into nearby tissues. This would explain an observed characteristic of MS that has been confirmed and reconfirmed over the years but never explained: MS lesions are “venocentric” – that is, they occur around veins in the brain and spinal cord. Watch this introduction to learn more.
Research has linked CCSVI to MS, and is
supported by multiple scientific observers dating back over 170 years. Pilot studies have indicated that CCSVI can
be treated with an angioplasty procedure and that once corrected, MS symptoms may often significantly decrease for many patients. Research is ongoing to confirm the relationship between CCSVI and MS, and the efficacy of treatment.
CCSVI Alliance encourages this ongoing research by fostering collaboration among medical professionals, patients, and advocates. Thank you for supporting this collaboration and research into a promising new treatment for MS!