Study May Shed Light to New Cause of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that still confounds the medical experts. It is a disease that researchers cannot as yet direct to a known cause. But a new study may try to change all that. It will aim to introduce a new possible hypothesis as to what might be causing the disease.

Researchers from the University of Buffalo will be trying out the possibility that multiple sclerosis may be caused by a condition known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency or CCSVI. This condition is characterized by the narrowing of the primary blood vessels outside the skull. The narrowing of the blood vessels may inhibit the normal flow of blood within the brain. The researchers believe that this condition may lead to brain tissue damage and the degeneration of nerve cells similar to what happens in people with multiple sclerosis.

The current study was a result of previous findings in Italy. Dr. Paolo Zamboni from the University of Ferrara in Italy has discovered a strong association between CCSVI and multiple sclerosis. Another pilot study done at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center, headed by Director Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, found that certain abnormalities regarding the flow of blood from the brain to the heart were more common in patients with multiple sclerosis.

The said study would involve 1,600 adults and 100 children diagnosed with either possible or definite multiple sclerosis. There is another 300 patients having other forms of autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases who will be included in the study along with 300 normal controls.

The study would include not only checking the participants for venous blood flow in the neck and the head but also checking for other factors such as iron deposits in brain lesions. Researchers will also be investigating other factors such as smoking and vitamin D metabolites and how they affect people with multiple sclerosis. If researchers prove their hypothesis correct, this may help doctors to identify and diagnose people who are at most risk with multiple sclerosis before the disease begins to develop its debilitating symptoms.





Leave a Reply