'Liberation' therapy has no benefit for MS: study
TORONTO - A clinical trial of the so-called "liberation treatment" for multiple sclerosis has found that the intervention does not improve symptoms over time and in some cases even made patients worse.
The University of Buffalo study of 30 MS patients found that while the treatment is safe and resulted in no serious adverse events, it did not provide sustained improvement.
The treatment involves unblocking veins in the neck and chest to improve blood flow.
Italian vascular surgeon Paulo Zamboni proposed in 2009 that a condition he dubbed chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI, might be a cause of MS.
Since then, thousands of Canadians with MS have sought the unproven vein-opening treatment in clinics outside Canada.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Adnan Siddiqui, principal investigator of the study, says patients should only enrol in clinical trials of the procedure, rather than seeking it at for-profit clinics.
"What we found was rather surprising and unexpected," Siddiqui said. "It was quite the opposite of what we originally expected to find. The study showed that endovascular treatment of stenosed (blocked) veins had no effect in MS patients."