Wednesday, 11 November 2009

CCSVI

Recently, evidence has emerged – and widely publicised – that a condition called “chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI)” may play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Paolo Zamboni, professor and director of the Vascular Diseases Centre at the University of Ferrara (Italy), and co-workers detected anomalies of venous drainage from the brain and spinal cord in all 65 (100%) people with MS in their cohort (published earlier this year in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry). Using venous ultrasound as well as venography (where a dye or contrast agent is injected through a catheter) they reported four patterns of restricted blood flow due to narrowing in the internal jugular, azygos and superior cava vein system. In none (0%) of their 235 strong control population (i.e. people with no known disease of the nervous system and people with neurological conditions other than MS such as Parkinson’s or motor neuron disease) did they find abnormalities similar to that found in the group of 65 people with MS.


Based on these findings, Professor Zamboni and his colleagues have started treating people with MS using a technique called endovascular balloon angioplasty, which widens the blood vessels using a catheter that has a balloon attached to its tip; when the balloon is inflated the vessel is opened. In a few cases they have resorted to inserting a stent, or rigid tube, in places where narrowing had been detected. Preliminary results following treatment of 75 patients with MS were reported earlier this year at the 31st Charing Cross Symposium “Vascular and Endovascular Controversies Update”. At that point patients had been followed up for a maximum of one year. Zamboni’s team reported positive trends using a panel of outcome measures of efficacy; i.e. (i) the MS functional composite (MSFC) scale, which measures walking speed, upper limb function and cognition, (ii) quality of life (MSQoL-54) and (iii) relapse rate.


The recent collaboration of Professor Zamboni’s group with MS experts from Buffalo (NY) and Detroit (MI) has propelled “CCSVI and MS” to a new level of publicity. This group plans to investigate 1,600 adults and 100 children with a diagnosis of possible or definite MS alongside 300 healthy controls and 300 patients with autoimmune and/or neurodegenerative diseases other than MS. Apart from using doppler ultrasound of head and neck blood vessels this group will also use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain with particular focus on brain iron levels; the effects of excess iron has been implicated for some time in the tissue destruction that occurs in various brain disorders including MS.


The “big idea” underlying the presumed link between CCSVI and MS is that narrowing in large veins outside the central nervous system (CNS) leads to stagnation of venous blood in small veins within the CNS and, subsequently, to iron deposition and inflammation around these veins with damaging knock-on effects (e.g. demyelination & axonal loss). Zamboni likens the perivascular MS lesion to a venous ulcer of the leg emerging from a varicose vein. The origin of increased iron in varicose legs is the leaking of red blood cells in conditions with stasis of blood in the veins.


Extravasation of red blood cells and thrombosis of small veins have indeed been seen in MS brain tissue, too. However, such findings are rare and far outnumberd by evidence suggesting different early abnormal events in MS lesion development including (i) migration through the blood brain barrier of autoreactive T cells or (ii) oligodendrocyte death.


There are numerous further questions that need to be addressed in order to draw any reasonable conclusion from Zamboni and co-workers’ findings: How does CCSVI explain relapses and remissions? What is the mechanism underlying apparent narrowing in large veins of people with MS? Are these vascular changes primary or secondary to MS? What is the association between these changes and apparent iron deposition in the brain of patients with MS? Is there an animal model that responds with inflammation and demyelinaton following stasis in large skull veins? Is there any evidence from people with MS who have been – for reasons other than MS – on drugs to thin the blood? And so forth…


We will follow the Ferrara/Buffalo/Detroit-collaboration on CCSVI in MS with interest, and we understand a first preliminary analysis is due within the next few months. For the time being, patients and their families should be re-assured that there is currently very little – if any – evidence in favour of endovascular treatment for MS. These procedures are invasive and carry a risk. Without firm evidence from properly conducted clinical trials we would not recommend this therapy.


Klaus Schmierer & Gavin Giovannoni

19 comments:

  1. According to Robert Zivadinov from Buffalo (NY), who gave a presentation about CCSVI yesterday at the UCL Institute of Neurology, two patients with MS have died in California due to complications of a venous "liberation procedure" so highly praised on Canadian TV last weekend. These are very concerning developments which underline the need for rigorous scientific studies before starting invasive treatments.

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  2. Although any surgery has its risks this procedure is not on the high side of the risk scale. IF this procedure pans out to benefit a large number of MS suffers it will be a risk worth taking for many.

    For the first time there seems to be a horizon that is within reach for Multiple Sclerosis suffers.

    Let the researchers loose!

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  3. In 2006, Laura Lawes was diagnosed with Multiple Scelrosis and given a life expectancy of one year. Three years later, she was not only living strong, but she gave birth to her first son. It was called "a miracle birth". These miracles are possible today, because of the work organizations, such as yourself, have done. Here, at Disease.com (a website dedicated to disease preventions and treatments) we are inspired by stories such as this, and would like to join you in fighting this cause. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. Lets create more of these miracles; together.If you want more information on that please email me back with the subject line as your URL.

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  4. I notice that I sent an email with details about CCSVI on 4th November and then this appears on 11th.......

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  5. I love this post, I like researching information related to this, when I was in college did a study about it called angioplasty surgery, where I learned a lot about this subject

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  6. I'm a little disappointed at the selection of articles on CCSVI that have appeared on this blogspot. Why have only negative stories appeared? It would also be helpful if posters checked their facts before writing. Only one person associated with CCSVI treatment has died. She died of an arterial bleed in her brain which was due to a congenital problem that had not been diagnosed previous to her procedure. The only person who suffered a direct side effect of the procedure is a male whose stent (deemed too narrow in post event analysis) migrated to his heart. He is still alive and kicking at the doctors at Stanford.

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  7. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis back in 1983. I can hardly walk now and it seems my condition worsens every day. When I first heard about the Liberation procedure and its results from a friend, I thought United States would be the first to conduct the trials. I could never imagine the corruption involved. I ended up applying for this simple procedure in Poland and waiting.. The other options were to get it done in India. After researching the internet extensively, I came across http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/ . They are screening for CCSVI in Fargo, ND and have very affordable packages for the Liberation procedure in India. I called (404)461-9560 and spoke to their nurse administrator Lisa whose priceless support made me realize that we are not alone in the fight against MS. They are screening within the US and Canada, their medical travel package includes flight arrangements and help with the visas, world class accommodation and meals within their hospitals, the liberation procedure, a stent if needed, medications necessary, a site-seeing tour, Pre-and post-procedure supervision, Full medical file including copies of charts, screens, CDs of Venograms, blood work, EKGs, etc. Post Procedure Screenings, follow-up and consultation with surgeons for the next 6 months and so many other provisions Lisa told me about, I can’t recall however you might be able to find out more on their site.. http://ccsviclinic.ca/?page_id=564 . They are providing all of this at just $13000 as compared to the other companies that charge something like $20000 just for the procedure. You may also contact Lisa by emailing her at apply@ccsviclinic.ca or calling her on (404)461-9560. I am getting liberated mid-October and I am so very thankful to everyone at CCSVI Clinic for making this happen!

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  8. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis back in 1983. I can hardly walk now and it seems my condition worsens every day. When I first heard about the Liberation procedure and its results from a friend, I thought United States would be the first to conduct the trials. I could never imagine the corruption involved. I ended up applying for this simple procedure in Poland and waiting.. The other options were to get it done in India. After researching the internet extensively, I came across http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/ . They are screening for CCSVI in Fargo, ND and have very affordable packages for the Liberation procedure in India. I called (404)461-9560 and spoke to their nurse administrator Lisa whose priceless support made me realize that we are not alone in the fight against MS. They are screening within the US and Canada, their medical travel package includes flight arrangements and help with the visas, world class accommodation and meals within their hospitals, the liberation procedure, a stent if needed, medications necessary, a site-seeing tour, Pre-and post-procedure supervision, Full medical file including copies of charts, screens, CDs of Venograms, blood work, EKGs, etc. Post Procedure Screenings, follow-up and consultation with surgeons for the next 6 months and so many other provisions Lisa told me about, I can’t recall however you might be able to find out more on their site.. http://ccsviclinic.ca/?page_id=564 . They are providing all of this at just $13000 as compared to the other companies that charge something like $20000 just for the procedure. You may also contact Lisa by emailing her at apply@ccsviclinic.ca or calling her on (404)461-9560. I am getting liberated mid-October and I am so very thankful to everyone at CCSVI Clinic for making this happen!

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  9. The CCSVI Liberation Treatment could be the cure but fact remains that the rate of re-occlusion is stuck at 50% and MS patients being treated in the European and Asian countries end up suffering as they did, 3 months ago. While Big Pharmaceutical Corporations and governments in the US and Canada are coming up with new ideas to stop any advancements to the CCSVI theory (Like the superbugs, etc.), millions continue to travel to countries like India and Poland to get this simple procedure and no valuable data is recorded to support the CCSVI theory. Unless we get our position strong enough to support the CCSVI Theory, we will never be able to beat the Pharma Corporations or start the treatment here and many will keep suffering and dying even after having the procedure done. I lost my elder brother last month because of a blood clot in his stent. He got liberated 5 months ago in Poland. We need to prove to the government that this works. Non-profit organizations like the CCSVI Clinic http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/ are tirelessly working to develop safer protocols with teams of world renowned surgeons even though they are feeling the negative pressure from you know who. This Atlanta based Organization has started Clinical Trials for CCSVI and we need to support these groups because they are our only hope to fight for the truth. Without the valuable data that they are collecting offshore, the procedures will not be allowed here, in our own countries.

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  10. It is estimated that the failure rate of the “liberation therapy” may be 50% or higher, even through the most experienced surgeons in Poland & Albany. As more people receive the therapy there is growing concern amongst patients that http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/?p=765 the procedure needs to include a post-procedure protocol that is more effective than simply releasing the patient from the hospital within a day.

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  11. It is estimated that the failure rate of the “liberation therapy” may be 50% or higher, even through the most experienced and best-known surgeons in Poland and Albany, NY. As more and more people receive the therapy there is growing concern amongst patients that the procedure needs to include a post-procedure protocol that is more effective than simply releasing the patient from the hospital or clinic within hours or a day of the procedure.
    CCSVI Clinic Physicians have applied for an International Ethics Board study approval entitled: “PROSPECTIVE, OPEN-LABEL STUDY OF THE SAFETY, EFFICACY AND RE-STENOSIS RATES IN MS PATIENTS WITH CCSVI UNDERGOING ENDOVASCULAR TREATMENT WHO RECEIVE AN ENHANCED HOSPITAL AFTERCARE PROTOCOL. Important previous studies on non-MS patients who have had the same venous angioplasty indicate that it’s critical to position and movement control patients post-procedure, monitor them for days afterward in the hospital with various imaging techniques, and re-treat if necessary. CCSVI Clinic is already sponsoring patients for this protocol with a 10-day stay in the hospital where patients will be imaged daily, post procedure. If there is evidence of re-occlusion, they will be taken back to the OR and re-treated. Past studies of non-MS patients with the same venous blockages have noted a cascade of failure points distally in venous vessels post angioplasty, and the hypothesis proposes that the study on MS patients will produce the same results. Once home, patients will be screened and interviewed at regular intervals by CCSVI Clinic Physician Researchers for several years after the treatment to study the changes and make comparisons between those who have followed the protocol and others who have had the procedure on an outpatient basis.
    It should be mentioned that our research is under much scrutiny and attack from elements that are trying to control the industry and the dialogue. A well-organized campaign to discredit CCSVI Clinic and our research is underway in the social media. We would ask you to have the independence of thought to see through their campaign of deceit.
    Regular research updates will be published on the CCSVI Clinic website http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/ . Questions about participation may be directed toward the CCSVI Clinic administration at 1-888-419-6855.

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  12. It is estimated that the failure rate of the “liberation therapy” may be 50% or higher, even through the most experienced and best-known surgeons in Poland and Albany, NY. As more and more people receive the therapy there is growing concern amongst patients that the procedure needs to include a post-procedure protocol that is more effective than simply releasing the patient from the hospital or clinic within hours or a day of the procedure.
    CCSVI Clinic Physicians have applied for an International Ethics Board study approval entitled: “PROSPECTIVE, OPEN-LABEL STUDY OF THE SAFETY, EFFICACY AND RE-STENOSIS RATES IN MS PATIENTS WITH CCSVI UNDERGOING ENDOVASCULAR TREATMENT WHO RECEIVE AN ENHANCED HOSPITAL AFTERCARE PROTOCOL. Important previous studies on non-MS patients who have had the same venous angioplasty indicate that it’s critical to position and movement control patients post-procedure, monitor them for days afterward in the hospital with various imaging techniques, and re-treat if necessary. CCSVI Clinic is already sponsoring patients for this protocol with a 10-day stay in the hospital where patients will be imaged daily, post procedure. If there is evidence of re-occlusion, they will be taken back to the OR and re-treated. Past studies of non-MS patients with the same venous blockages have noted a cascade of failure points distally in venous vessels post angioplasty, and the hypothesis proposes that the study on MS patients will produce the same results. Once home, patients will be screened and interviewed at regular intervals by CCSVI Clinic Physician Researchers for several years after the treatment to study the changes and make comparisons between those who have followed the protocol and others who have had the procedure on an outpatient basis.
    It should be mentioned that our research is under much scrutiny and attack from elements that are trying to control the industry and the dialogue. A well-organized campaign to discredit CCSVI Clinic and our research is underway in the social media. We would ask you to have the independence of thought to see through their campaign of deceit.
    Regular research updates will be published on the CCSVI Clinic website http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/ . Questions about participation may be directed toward the CCSVI Clinic administration at 1-888-419-6855.

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  13. There is a difference between responsible reporting and what Melissa Martin chose to write about the CCSVI Clinic in this article. She was in possession of factual information and documents that put the CCSVI Clinic in a favorable light but chose to withhold the information she received from the physicains and researchers at CCSVI Clinic that would have conflicted with her agenda to smear our reputation in order to sensationalize her story. At no time did anyone from the CCSVI Clinic pressure patients into going to India for the Liberation Procedure. She should have considered that the one single person who made that claim clearly had her own agenda because she was disheartened by her 'borderline' results. We simply provide information to people about our enhanced hospital stay and aftercare program should a patient decide to have the procedure. You can't pressure someone to make an important decision about their health and all of our literature clearly states that. These MS patients are more knowledgeable about the CCSVI condition and about the options for treatment than most physicians are. To suggest that they can be pressured into a decision to have the procedure done in India is ludicrous. Patients who have signed up to be part of our open-ended study on the safety and efficacy of an enhanced aftercare protocol to reduce the rate of re-stenosis versus having the procedure on an outpatient basis (which may be contributing to long term failure of the procedure) have done so to ensure that they are getting the best care possible and because they want to be part of the important work we are doing for MS patients. http://www.ccsviclinic.ca/

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  14. CCSVI Clinic Receives Joint IRB Approval for Aftercare Protocol Study.

    The joint application between Noble Hospital and CCSVI Clinic has been approved through the IEC Institutional Review Board (IRB) that will allow researchers to use patient data to study their new extended and enhanced aftercare treatment protocol. The study hypothesis states that in MS patients with CCSVI undergoing endovascular treatment, those receiving the enhanced hospital aftercare protocol will have an improved long-term outcome over those patients not receiving this same protocol. The study is a Prospective, Longitudinal, Cohort Study in which patients are given the enhanced hospital aftercare and post-procedure protocol and then followed at regular 3 month intervals post-procedure, with the same measurements including symptoms and clinical examination, EDSS scale, Quality of Life Scale (QOL) and Doppler U/S.
    Dr. Anand Alurkar, an Interventional Radiologist has done thousands of Intra and Extra cranial angio-procedures over the past 10 years. His previous studies may indicate that it’s critical to position and movement control patients who have had a venous angioplasty post-procedure, monitor them for days afterward with various imaging techniques, for other symptoms of restenosis, and re-treat if necessary. Previously unpublished data for patients who have had venous angioplasty may support a much lower restenosis rate (< 20%) in non-MS patients with the same neck vein blockages, (while conventional liberation treatments of MS patients who undergo the procedure are treated mostly as outpatients) have a restenosis rate of over 50% (at 400 days). Currently, this means that over half of all of the MS patients who get the liberation therapy can expect to be looking to get the procedure done again within a year or so, which would not be considered a successful outcome. This may also be the biggest hurdle to overcome in getting the liberation therapy approved in North America short of clinical trials. If the positive effects of the liberation procedure disappear in many patients after only a few months, it would be reasonable to assume they are placebo unless data is collected to show otherwise. Apart from confirming restenosis rates, the study will establish whether it’s just as important to observe a strict protocol after the procedure for a period of up to 10 days to prevent restenosis. Dr. Avneesh Gupte, an Interventional Neurosurgeon involved in the study says “If our daily Doppler Ultrasounds post-procedure come up with anomalies that indicate the beginnings of restenosis in the veins, we’ll take them back and do another balloon angioplasty where the occlusion is starting to occur. It should be no different for MS patients than the non-MS patients but the key is really that they be position controlled, movement controlled, and then monitored for 10 days afterwards to be sure”.Please log on to http://ccsviclinic.ca/?p=830 for more information.

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  15. CCSVI Clinic Receives Joint IRB Approval for Aftercare Protocol Study.
    The joint application between Noble Hospital and CCSVI Clinic has been approved through the IEC Institutional Review Board (IRB) that will allow researchers to use patient data to study their new extended and enhanced aftercare treatment protocol. The study hypothesis states that in MS patients with CCSVI undergoing endovascular treatment, those receiving the enhanced hospital aftercare protocol will have an improved long-term outcome over those patients not receiving this same protocol. The study is a Prospective, Longitudinal, Cohort Study in which patients are given the enhanced hospital aftercare and post-procedure protocol and then followed at regular 3 month intervals post-procedure, with the same measurements including symptoms and clinical examination, EDSS scale, Quality of Life Scale (QOL) and Doppler U/S.
    Dr. Anand Alurkar, an Interventional Radiologist has done thousands of Intra and Extra cranial angio-procedures over the past 10 years. His previous studies may indicate that it’s critical to position and movement control patients who have had a venous angioplasty post-procedure, monitor them for days afterward with various imaging techniques, for other symptoms of restenosis, and re-treat if necessary. Previously unpublished data for patients who have had venous angioplasty may support a much lower restenosis rate (< 20%) in non-MS patients with the same neck vein blockages, (while conventional liberation treatments of MS patients who undergo the procedure are treated mostly as outpatients) have a restenosis rate of over 50% (at 400 days). Currently, this means that over half of all of the MS patients who get the liberation therapy can expect to be looking to get the procedure done again within a year or so, which would not be considered a successful outcome. This may also be the biggest hurdle to overcome in getting the liberation therapy approved in North America short of clinical trials. If the positive effects of the liberation procedure disappear in many patients after only a few months, it would be reasonable to assume they are placebo unless data is collected to show otherwise. Apart from confirming restenosis rates, the study will establish whether it’s just as important to observe a strict protocol after the procedure for a period of up to 10 days to prevent restenosis. Dr. Avneesh Gupte, an Interventional Neurosurgeon involved in the study says “If our daily Doppler Ultrasounds post-procedure come up with anomalies that indicate the beginnings of restenosis in the veins, we’ll take them back and do another balloon angioplasty where the occlusion is starting to occur. It should be no different for MS patients than the non-MS patients but the key is really that they be position controlled, movement controlled, and then monitored for 10 days afterwards to be sure”.Please log on to http://ccsviclinic.ca/?p=830 for more information.

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  16. CCSVI Clinic Receives Joint IRB Approval for Aftercare Protocol Study.
    Dr. Don Simonson, the Principal Investigator for the study agrees; “Of course there are other reasons that patients restenose, depending on the condition of their veins in the first place, and operator inexperience, so we have designed a study that isolates the aftercare protocol because we feel it may be at least as important, and in any case well worth studying.”
    CCSVI Clinic is already sponsoring patients for this protocol with a 10-day stay in the hospital where patients will be imaged daily, post procedure. If there is evidence of re-occlusion, they will be taken back to the OR and re-treated. To comply with the IRB approval, once home, patients will be examined and/or surveyed at regular intervals by a Principle Investigator (PI) for several years after the treatment to study the changes. Patients will have regular consults with the surgeon who performed their procedure as part of the protocol.
    More and more MS patients are reporting initial success (including vascular and some neurological differences) as a result of the venous angioplasty (liberation therapy) but then regression to previous symptoms sometimes within weeks post-procedure. It is estimated that the failure rate of the “liberation therapy” may be 50% or higher, even through the most experienced and best-known surgeons. Consequently, there is increasing concern amongst patients that the liberation therapy hypothesis needs to include a post-procedure protocol that is more refined than simply releasing the patient from the hospital or clinic within hours or a day of the procedure. If the study hypothesis is correct, it means that there are many other considerations that indicate a post-procedure stabilization period, re-examination, and re-treatment if necessary.Please log on to http://ccsviclinic.ca/?p=830 for more information.

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  17. CCSVI Clinic Receives Joint IRB Approval for Aftercare Protocol Study.
    A recent intake of Canadian patients confirmed that they were most satisfied with the protocol. “I am convinced that CCSVI Clinic has been by far the best choice available”, says Nicole Magnan, speaking on behalf of her husband, Robert who underwent the therapy under the 10-day protocol. “And nobody in this world that can convince me otherwise. Robert came in here a broken man. He had no hope. His next step was the nursing home. Today he is walking with the aid of a walker and with consistent daily physiotherapy he will make more steps every day. Most importantly, we are hoping that the positive changes will be permanent and the doctors at CCSVI Clinic explained that. They are such special people that will remain in our hearts forever.”
    Regular research updates will be published on the CCSVI Clinic website. Questions may be directed toward the CCSVI Clinic administration at 1-888-419-6855 . Persons wishing to participate in the study must agree to the informed consent process, qualify through an inclusionary and exclusionary process and agree to be followed for several years by the study research team. They must be prepared to travel to Noble Hospital in Pune, India, but all arrangements will be taken care of by staff associated with the study. Interested persons should ensure that applications are in as soon as possible since there are limitations on the funding for the study population.Please log on to http://ccsviclinic.ca/?p=830 for more information.

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  18. After 6 months of offering stem cell therapy in combination with the venous angioplasty liberation procedure, patients of CCSVI Clinic have reported excellent health outcomes. Ms. Kasma Gianopoulos of Athens Greece, who was diagnosed with the Relapsing/Remitting form of MS in 1997 called the combination of treatments a “cure”. “I feel I am completely cured” says Ms. Gianopoulos, “my symptoms have disappeared and I have a recovery of many functions, notably my balance and my muscle strength is all coming (back). Even after six months, I feel like there are good changes happening almost every day. Before, my biggest fear was that the changes wouldn’t (hold). I don’t even worry about having a relapse anymore. I’m looking forward to a normal life with my family. I think I would call that a miracle.”

    Other recent MS patients who have had Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (ASCT), or stem cell therapy have posted videos and comments on YouTube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFQr2eqm3Cg.

    Dr. Avneesh Gupte, the Neurosurgeon at Noble Hospital performing the procedure has been encouraged by results in Cerebral Palsy patients as well. “We are fortunate to be able to offer the treatment because not every hospital is able to perform these types of transplants. You must have the specialized medical equipment and specially trained doctors and nurses”. With regard to MS patients, “We are cautious, but nevertheless excited by what patients are telling us. Suffice to say that the few patients who have had the therapy through us are noticing recovery of neuro deficits beyond what the venous angioplasty only should account for”.

    Dr. Unmesh of Noble continues: “These are early days and certainly all evidence that the combination of liberation and stem cell therapies working together at this point is anecdotal. However I am not aware of other medical facilities in the world that offer the synthesis of both to MS patients on an approved basis and it is indeed a rare opportunity for MS patients to take advantage of a treatment that is quite possibly unique in the world”.

    Autologous stem cell transplantation is a procedure by which blood-forming stem cells are removed, and later injected back into the patient. All stem cells are taken from the patient themselves and cultured for later injection. In the case of a bone marrow transplant, the HSC are typically removed from the Pelvis through a large needle that can reach into the bone. The technique is referred to as a bone marrow harvest and is performed under a general anesthesia. The incidence of patients experiencing rejection is rare due to the donor and recipient being the same individual.This remains the only approved method of the SCT therapy. For more information visit http://ccsviclinic.ca/?p=838

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  19. Leo Voisey said...
    Stem cells are “non-specialized” cells that have the potential to form into other types of specific cells, such as blood, muscles or nerves. They are unlike "differentiated" cells which have already become whatever organ or structure they are in the body. Stem cells are present throughout our body, but more abundant in a fetus.
    Medical researchers and scientists believe that stem cell therapy will, in the near future, advance medicine dramatically and change the course of disease treatment. This is because stem cells have the ability to grow into any kind of cell and, if transplanted into the body, will relocate to the damaged tissue, replacing it. For example, neural cells in the spinal cord, brain, optic nerves, or other parts of the central nervous system that have been injured can be replaced by injected stem cells. Various stem cell therapies are already practiced, a popular one being bone marrow transplants that are used to treat leukemia. In theory and in fact, lifeless cells anywhere in the body, no matter what the cause of the disease or injury, can be replaced with vigorous new cells because of the remarkable plasticity of stem cells. Biomed companies predict that with all of the research activity in stem cell therapy currently being directed toward the technology, a wider range of disease types including cancer, diabetes, spinal cord injury, and even multiple sclerosis will be effectively treated in the future. Recently announced trials are now underway to study both safety and efficacy of autologous stem cell transplantation in MS patients because of promising early results from previous trials.

    LINK REMOVED

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