CCSVI, Multiple Sclerosis, and Travel for “Liberation Therapy”

CBC has posted several video clips in response to a publication in this week’s issue of Neurology.  The article examines prevalence of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) in individuals with multiple sclerosis.  The article suggests that CCSVI does not have a direct or primary causative role in development of multiple sclerosis.  Instead, the researchers suggest that obstructed neck veins might be a result of multiple sclerosis rather than a cause of the disease.  The CBC website includes a clip providing an overview of the significance of this latest study, an interview with a physician addressing questions about the study, CCSVI, and multiple sclerosis, an interview with Dr. Jock Murray, a neurologist who argues that given current evidence individuals should not travel abroad for “Liberation therapy”, and an interview with Dr. Joseph Hewett, a California-based physician who uses the balloon angioplasty technique as a treatment for MS.  The clips suggest the very different ways in which studies can be interpreted and raise questions about the quality of evidence that some individuals with MS are using when they decide to travel to international health care facilities and pay for neck vein angioplasty.  Despite the absence of definitive evidence supporting the hypothesis that neck vein angioplasty benefits individuals with MS, medical tourism companies and destination health care facilities in many different countries are marketing “Liberation therapy” to individuals with MS.

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