Study Sees No Link Between Narrow Blood Vessels And MS

A recent study indicates that multiple sclerosis is not caused by the narrowing of the blood vessels, as some previous research has suggested. Findings in a study conducted by doctors at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center that involved US veterans showed that there were little evidence shown that a narrowing of the blood vessels will lead to MS. The study findings were published online in the August issue of Archives of Neurology.

Dr. Ellen Marder, MD, of Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a study of a condition called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI. The researchers studied current literature about the said condition and cannot find any convincing data that it may be involved in the development of multiple sclerosis.

Some previous studies suggested that people with multiple sclerosis may likely also experience the narrowing of the veins located in the brain and spine going to the heart. This may cause the blood to flow back to the brain, which may cause certain symptoms associated with MS. The researchers suggest correcting the condition by surgery by opening the veins in the neck area to ease the MS symptoms concerning movement and balance issues.

Dr. Marder’s team of researchers took ultrasound images inside and outside of the brains of 18 US veterans with MS. They also included 11 other people of the same gender and age group without MS. The researchers looked into the telltale signs of CCSVI, including the lack of blood flow as well as its backward flow into the brain and spine as well as the narrowing of the brains.

The researchers found that four people with MS showed up with the telltale signs. But there were also the same number of people who showed the same signs within the comparison group without MS. The findings did not show any conclusive evidence that CCSVI and MS may be linked. According to Dr. Marder, the recent study results may show that people with MS are not any more likely to show signs of CCSVI than those without MS. Without any conclusive indication that MS and CCSVI may be linked, surgery to open up the veins in the neck may still be up for more debate regarding the benefits that it may offer in alleviating symptoms to people with MS.

Source: Reuters

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