Posted by: Andrew G | February 10, 2010

HOPE – Multiple Sclerosis and Doctor Zamboni

Special thanks goes out to Shannon for putting this piece together.

This past weekend, North America was introduced to Dr. Paolo Zamboni, a professor at the University of Ferrara in northern Italy.  In recent months, he has caused quite a stir in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) community with the introduction of his findings among a small trial group of MS patients in Italy.

He has discovered that Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI), a narrowing of the veins in the neck and chest, is prevalent in MS patients.  CCSVI causes insufficient blood drainage from the brain which results in iron deposits in the brain and spinal cord.

The treatment, aptly named “the Liberation Treatment” involves a relatively minor procedure, a balloon angioplasty or the placement of a stent to open up the affected vein(s) to allow for proper blood flow.  And while he doesn’t claim that it is a cure for MS, it has been proven effective in the treatment of that small trial group.  And an effective treatment is much more than what is available now.

There are still some hurdles to overcome, some scepticism that comes with all groundbreaking ideas that go against popular belief – but overall, the reaction has been promising.  Two facilities in Canada (University of British Columbia and McMaster University) are embarking on trial studies, as are facilities south of the border.

This promising new treatment has given a new found sense of hope to those affected by MS – there are only so many times we can hear the words “We are getting closer to finding a cure.”  Even with the challenges still being faced by Dr. Zamboni, he has managed to breathe new life into all of us.  It is amazing what this glimmer can do – and every step towards that light of hope is a step in the right direction.

The news program W5 did a piece on this story in November, and their videos are an excellent start for learning more.

I’m also posting this in our new companion blog Happy News which will be specifically for good news of great people and deeds that we feel should be celebrated.


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