A controversial and yet unproven treatment has claimed the life of a Canadian patient suffering from MS.
The hypothesis the paper suggests is that that chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI), the improper outflow of blood in the veins leaving the head due to plaque buildup, is a major cause of clinical MS. The suggested treatment? Opening up these veins by inflating a small balloon that pushes the plaque out of the way; an angioplasty, the same procedure used to open up clogged arteries in patients with atherosclerosis.
Upon reading the research paper, what struck me most was the vast differences between Dr. Zamboni's hypothesis about the pathophysiology of MS compared to the current scientific model of the disease. The current model, the one founded on numerous peer-reviewed and tested research, holds that MS is caused by hyperactivity of immune cells against myelin antigens. Myelin is present in the covering of your peripheral nerves, and this constant attack causes your nerves to function improperly. Over time they become so worn out that eventually you may not be able to move, or have severely limited motor function.