Wednesday February 21st 2018

New study looks into effects of controversial MS procedure

A new Alberta web-based study will allow doctors and researchers to be one step closer to learning more about a controversial Multiple Sclerosis procedure.

The Alberta Multiple Sclerosis Initiative (TAMSI) study will look at Alberta MS patients who have had and haven’t had the chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) procedure– an operation that sees the opening of the veins between the brain and neck. MS sufferers will be asked to fill out surveys at monthly intervals, detailing their health status. The information will then be matched to files from patients’ health records and will be used by researchers to examine the effects and outcomes of the procedure.

“This study will complement other ongoing CCSVI studies to address questions that must be answered in order to design clinical trials,” said Dr. Luanne Metz, Calgary MS Clinic Director and TAMSI lead researcher.

Although the CCSVI procedure has not been approved for MS patients in Canada, some international doctors believe CCSVI is closely linked to MS. For former Leduc rodeo queen Michelle Walsh, who has had the procedure done abroad twice, the CCSVI operation helped ease the suffering for this MS patient and provides hope.

“I was fitted for a wheelchair before I went for my first treatment and I’m still not in it,” said the mother of two.

Walsh received her first treatment last year in Bulgaria and received a second treatment in California this past January. After visiting her neurologist in California last month for a follow-up, Walsh was told her lesions on her brain– a symptom of the disease– are inactive at this time and that her veins are still open.

“I was told the odds of needing to get it done again are very small. All of my lesions on my brain are not active, which means my MS is not active, and that’s the biggest bonus of all,” said Walsh, who now lives in Beechy, Saskatchewan.

Prior to the procedures, Walsh says she was not only scheduled to get a wheelchair, but was also bedridden for 16 hours a day and wasn’t able to play with her two children, something she hopes never happens again.

“I don’t nap, I don’t have chronic fatigue and I get to play with my kids. I hope to God they never remember the mom lying in bed because we are having so much fun now,” said Walsh, adding she would redo the CCSVI procedure in a heartbeat if necessary. “It gives a lot of hope with this disease. There has never been any hope with this disease and I have had it for 20 years, and this is the first time I have had hope with it.”

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One Comment for “New study looks into effects of controversial MS procedure”

  • Michele Findlay says:

    This is good news, let us hope that this information is used for the advancement of CCSVI treatment. Open minded curiosity is what is needed now.


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