Endovascular treatment for multiple sclerosis

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Paolo Zamboni, University of Ferrara, Italy, presented the rationale and preliminary results of an endovascular treatment for multiple sclerosis at the CX Symposium Monday 6 April 2009.

Zamboni explained that, though multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system of unknown origin – widely considered to be autoimmune in nature – it is strongly associated with chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency.

This link was supported by Zamboni’s recent study of 65 patients affected by clinically defined multiple sclerosis, along with 235 “healthy” control subjects. Though this study left open the question as to whether venous stenoses are the cause or product of multiple sclerosis.

“I cannot answer this at the moment,” said Zamboni. “The interesting thing, though, is that when you can treat the stenosis, you have, in time, an improvement in those patients. Especially in the first phase.”

Zamboni’s current, ongoing study is exploring the effects of endovascular treatment for stenosed jugular and azygous veins in a cohort of 100 multiple sclerosis patients, with follow-up to one year.

“I think that this is really promising,” he said. “I have good cooperation with the neurologists in my country. And I think that this could be promising if neurologists and vascular people work back to back on this.”