Dr. Weeks’ Comment: for our friends struggling with MS, we have pioneered bee venom therapy with apamin (BVT) see http://weeksmd.com/?p=4723 , http://weeksmd.com/?p=4620 various immune enhancing protocols (LDN, 4AP, PTC) see http://weeksmd.com/?p=4710 and we have encouraged patient to get an assessment of their cerebrospinal venous capacity. See what we reported on in early 2010: http://weeksmd.com/?p=3980 . Perhaps it is simply human to resist new ideas but I am always chagrined when alleged scientists refuse to consider scientific data and instead resort to beliefs and opinions. Dr. Zamboni has offered compelling scientific and clinical data yet MS doctors (supported by MS drug companies who are terrified of the idea of a surgical treatment rendering their medications obsolete!) are not paying attention except to refute that which they haven’t truly examined with an open mind.
Meanwhile, the data grows more impressive and more patients are taking responsibility for their own health care by seeking out doctors who are offering innovative care.
A Novel MS Treatment
In August, I received a message asking me what I thought about CCSVI in multiple sclerosis. I had the same reaction most of you did when you read the title of this article – “What the hell is CCSVI?” A Google search told me it stood for “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” and a PubMed search led me to a handful of papers on CCSVI, all authored by an Italian vascular researcher/surgeon named Paolo Zamboni.
The papers provided solid and mind-expanding evidence that an entirely new disease process was part of MS. It soon became clear that the concept of CCVSI had the potential to completely change how we saw MS and how to treat it.
The Italian researchers discovered that, in persons with multiple sclerosis, the veins which acted as the main drainage pathways for blood flowing from the brain back to the heart were substantially narrowed and even blocked. These included the jugular veins, veins along the spinal column, and other veins I had not heard of before such as the azygous vein.
The researchers had never seen these problems in anyone before. Their equipment allowed them to study the blood flow in the veins and to also take pictures of the veins. They found that all the persons with MS they examined had impaired venous drainage from the brain and that such a problem caused the phenomenon of “reflux”. This means the venous blood would flow back toward the brain as it established new pathways around the blocked and narrowed veins. They labeled this compromised venous drainage as CCSVI.
Improper venous drainage is well known in the lower torso of many people (e.g. varicose veins, etc). In some cases, it has been demonstrated that poor venous flow in the lower body can result in iron deposition and associated inflammation. Furthermore, sclerosis and degenerative lesions can occur with the inflammation.
Knowing the problems that poor venous drainage can cause in the lower torso, Zamboni and his co-authors offered the reasonable interpretation that the reflux action of the blood flow into the veins of the brain resulted in iron deposition and inflammation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Notably iron deposits have long been documented in MS lesions and it is well known that every MS lesion forms symmetrically around a vein. Such characteristics of MS lesions have never been satisfactorily explained before the Zamboni discoveries.