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National MS Society eNews November 2009
Does blood flow in the brain play a role in MS?

Small study suggests possible link

Results of a study into MS and poor blood circulation in the brain, or chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CSSVI), revisited a decades-old theory that abnormal blood flow in the brain might play a key role in nervous system damage. Paolo Zamboni, MD, and his team at the University of Ferrara in Italy, used sonography to detect abnormalities in vein drainage from the brain to the heart in 65 people with MS. They compared the results with those of 235 people who were either healthy or who had other neurological disorders.

Dr. Zamboni and team found that many of the people with MS showed evidence of slowed or obstructed drainage in veins running from the brain to the heart. They also found blood flow being rerouted to smaller vessels, some of which actually reversed flow back into the brain. In the report, which was published in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, the authors suggest that it may be this reverse flow that sets off the inflammation and immune-system response in MS.

Dr. Paolo Zamboni
Dr. Paolo Zamboni, study leader

In a collaborative study now getting under way among researchers in Italy and the United States, 16 people with CSSVI are being experimentally treated with balloon dilation, which has been used to treat blocked arteries.

What do the findings mean?
If confirmed, the results of the Italian study may lead to new research into the underlying causes of MS. But many questions still remain. There is not yet enough evidence to say that CSSVI causes MS, at what stage in the disease it happens, or whether therapies aimed at improving blood drainage would be safe or beneficial.

More information and facts about the study
Read the original report

Steve Nissen and Phillip Rumrill
Steve Nissen and Phillip Rumrill who are among the experts offering advice to people with MS who are seeking employment.
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FDA FDA decision on Fampridine-SR pushed back

The final FDA decision on whether to approve Fampridine-SR to be the first drug to specifically treat an MS symptom is now set in late January—but stay tuned. Read more and check our home page often where the decision will be posted.


NC Research CampusFast Foward sponsors Think Tank
In October, leading scientists from universities, biotech and pharmaceutical firms, and health agencies explored together how to move new high-tech discoveries more quickly into improved treatments for MS.

Learn more
About the NC Research Campus
About Fast Forward


Rep. KilroyU.S. Representative from Ohio lives with MS
Mary Jo Kilroy, representing Ohio’s 15th district since January, has been living with MS since 2003. Last month she sent her fellow U.S. legislators a letter about her MS and the need for health insurance that does not discriminate against those with chronic disease.

See a TV interview filmed in October
Read more about Rep. Kilroy

This communication is partially sponsored through the generous support of Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Genentech and Biogen Idec.

Teva Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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