UBC MS Clinic: Funding for Following Patients with MS Who Go Abroad for “Liberation Therapy”

Canadian Press and CTV report that the University of British Columbia Hospital MS Clinic has received approximately $700,000 in funding.  The funds will be used to develop a voluntary registry of B.C. residents who have had testing and treatment for CCSVI.  CCSVI, or chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, is based on the hypothesis that narrowing of veins carrying blood from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body is a major cause of multiple sclerosis.  Dr. Paolo Zamboni, originator of the CCSVI hypothesis, argues that reduced blood flow from the brain leaves iron deposits that result in neural lesions and cause MS.  In addition to establishing a registry of patients who have gone abroad for “Liberation therapy”, the UBC MS Clinic will develop research methods for studying benefits and complications associated with the procedure.  In addition, researchers will develop post-procedure guidelines for treatment.  At present, some individuals who have gone abroad for balloon angioplasty or stenting of their neck veins are reluctant to disclose their decision to treating physicians back in Canada.  Other patients report returning home and experiencing difficulty arranging adequate follow-up care.  British Columbia follows Alberta and Newfoundland in establishing a voluntary registry of MS patients who have gone abroad for neck vein angioplasty or stenting.

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