NYC Healthcare News



National MS Society commits over $2.4M to support 7 CCSVI research projects

September 29, 2015

Dr. Brenda Banwell, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario: studying vein abnormalities in children and teenagers who have MS, and healthy controls of the same age. The team is seeking to determine whether the veins are abnormal at an early age among pediatric MS patients. These findings will add additional depth to studies of CCSVI in adult MS.  More information: nationalmssociety/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/ccsvi-study-by-banwell-team/index.aspxDr. Fiona Costello, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta: examining a cross-section of people with MS compared to other neurological diseases and healthy volunteers. The team is seeking linkages between vein abnormalities and different aspects of MS activity and tissue damage to gain insight into the significance of differences in vein drainage and their implications for the future treatment of MS. More information: nationalmssociety/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/ccsvi-study-by-costello-team/index.aspxDr. Aaron Field, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison: using magnetic resonance (MRI) scans to generate detailed images of the head and neck veins in people with early and later MS, healthy volunteers, and controls with other neurological conditions. This team is also using the ultrasound techniques originally used by Dr. Zamboni. If they obtain  similar results as those published by Dr. Zamboni, it would represent a powerful confirmation of the CCSVI hypothesis and help lead the way toward trials of appropriate treatment. More information: nationalmssociety/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/ccsvi-study-by-field-team/index.aspxDr. Robert Fox Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland: studying people with MS or who are at risk for MS (CIS) and comparison groups including healthy volunteers and people with brain atrophy (shrinkage) from Alzheimer's disease. This team is using the ultrasound techniques originally used by Dr. Zamboni, as well as magnetic resonance studies of the veins (MR venography), MRI scans of the brain, and clinical measures to determine MS activity and atrophy. They are also examining neck and spinal cord tissue from MS patients at autopsy to provide a tissue-based evaluation of CCSVI and its possible relationship to MS.  More information: nationalmssociety/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/ccsvi-study-by-fox-team/index.aspxDr. Carlos Torres, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ontario: employing powerful MRI technology to explore vein anatomy and assessing for iron deposits in the brains of people with MS and in age-matched healthy volunteers. These studies work towards mapping out normal variations in brain vein anatomy and providing insight into CCSVI in MS.  More information: nationalmssociety/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/ccsvi-study-by-torres-team/index.aspx Dr. Anthony Traboulsee, UBC Hospital MS Clinic, UBC Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Katherine Knox, Saskatoon MS Clinic, University of Saskatchewan: studying the prevalence of CCSVI in people with MS and controls without MS, using catheter venography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance venography. Unique to this study is the inclusion of family members, such as identical twins of MS patients who have not developed MS, in control groups. They also hope to verify the usefulness of techniques that would make it easier to screen for CCSVI.  More information: nationalmssociety/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/ccsvi-study-by-traboulee_knox-team/index.aspx Dr. Jerry Wolinsky, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston: replicating the ultrasound methods used by Dr. Zamboni to investigate the association of CCSVI with major clinical types of MS and in non-MS control groups. The team is also testing whether other imaging methods can confirm the ultrasound findings, while identifying the most reliable technique to screen for CCSVI. More information: nationalmssociety/research/intriguing-leads-on-the-horizon/ccsvi/ccsvi-study-by-wolinsky-team/index.aspx

"We don't know yet whether CCSVI contributes to MS disease activity, and there have been conflicting data as to the frequency of this condition in people with MS," said National MS Society Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Aaron Miller, Professor of Neurology and Medical Director of the MS Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "The newly funded studies should bring clarity to the debate, and we should know very soon what this phenomenon means in MS and what the next steps should be."

SOURCE National Multiple Sclerosis Society