Researchers testing theory MS may be caused by vein blockages in brain

BBC News (11/26, Roberts) reported that University of Buffalo “scientists are testing a radical new theory that multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by blockages in the veins that drain the brain.” The team was “intrigued by the work of” Paolo Zamboni, MD, “who claims 90% of MS is caused by narrowed veins.” Dr. Zamboni, who “says the restricted drainage, visible on scans, injures the brain leading to MS,” has “already widened the blockages in a handful of patients.” Now, the US investigators are planning “to recruit 1,100 patients with MS and 600 other volunteers as controls who are either healthy or have neurological diseases other than MS.”
MedPage Today (11/27, Smith) reported that instead of being “regarded as an autoimmune disease,” MS “may result from poor vascular circulation in the brain.” According to Dr. Zamboni, “abnormal flow through the azygous and jugular venous systems results in a build-up of iron in the brain. The excess iron damages blood vessels and allows the metal, as well as other substances, to cross the blood-brain barrier.” Pointing out the “immediate clinical implications” of this hypothesis, MedPage Today noted that “if narrowed or obstructed veins are the cause of the condition, people might easily be screened for MS long before symptoms appear,” and that “a simple surgical procedure,” called “a percutaneous transluminal angioplasty,” may “open the veins and perhaps halt or reverse the course of the disease.”


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