Opening a Multiple Sclerosis patient’s veins, a procedure often referred to as “liberation treatment” does not improve patient outcomes, researchers from the University at Buffalo revealed. In some cases patients ended up with worse symptoms, the investigators added. They will present their findings at an “Emerging Science” poster session at the annual American Academy of Neurology meeting in San Diego on March 20th, 2013.

while percutaneous transluminal venous angioplasty is safe and not linked to any serious adverse events, it did not provide sustained improvements in multiple sclerosis patients

“Our strong recommendation to patients and to practitioners, who have, in earnest, been seeking betterment for their disease and a cure for MS is that they should instead consider enrolling in trials, rather than undergoing these procedures on a fee-for-service basis.”

central nervous system

  • Stenosis – abnormal narrowing of the vein. This restricts blood flow. This could be because the vein has collapsed, twisted, has ring-like narrowings, or some other obstruction.
  • A faulty valve – which inhibits the flow of blood.
  • Atresia, hypoplasia, or agenesis – the vein may be partially closed (atresia), not fully developed (hypoplasia), or nearly entirely missing (agenesis).

“Our findings over the last three years have indicated that CCSVI is more prevalent in MS patients than in healthy controls, but the cause or consequence of these venous abnormalities has not been established.”

Endovascular treatment for narrowed veins had no effect on multiple sclerosis patients

  • Phase I – a safety trial involving 10 patients
  • Phase II – 20 patients were randomly selected to either receive endovascular intervention or placebo (sham treatment)
  • clinical symptoms
  • brain lesions (after undergoing magnetic resonance imaging scans)
  • quality of life

“This is not the last word on this endovascular treatment for MS. This is the first word because this was the first double-blinded, randomized sham-controlled trial on the subject. However, these findings lead us to caution strongly against the general acceptance of this invasive procedure for MS patients.”