News: Could the "liberation treatment" for MS be coming to Canada?

It’s called the "liberation treatment." A controversial therapy, it’s said to fully recover MS patients in the early stages of

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It’s called the "liberation treatment." A controversial therapy, it’s said to fully recover MS patients in the early stages of the disease and dramatically improve sensation and energy levels for others. And clinical trials could be coming to Canada sooner than originally thought. As reported by the CBC, at the Council of Federation meeting next week, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall will propose the idea to bring clinical trials of the liberation treatment to Canada.

In November 2009, Italian vascular surgeon Paolo Zamboni contradicted the established understanding that MS is an autoimmune disease. Zamboni identified CCSVI’chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, a narrowing of the veins connected to the brain’as the root of MS. He later conducted an experimental surgery, sending a tiny balloon to widen the blocked veins, on 65 patients and found that people with relapsing MS showed improvement.

For now, the treatment hasn’t been approved by Health Canada as the government is waiting for more evidence to support Zamboni’s research, and Canadians eager to try the surgery are travelling to European countries to seek out the treatment. However, according to Macleans, B.C. doctor Dr. Mark Godley covertly tried the surgery on a patient, billing it as a regular angioplasty at an unnamed hospital. He reported amazing results consistent with Zamboni’s research. The findings from Godley’s research are good news for people around the world living with MS, but especially Canadians: Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world.

For people living with multiple sclerosis, Wall’s proposal could be a saving grace. However, the tenor from Canadian health authorities and other premiers has been tepid, at best.

Understandably, the findings are new and the MS Society of Canada takes a similarly cautious stance on the liberation treatment and CCSVI findings. The MS Society of Canada is monitoring all research related to CCSVI and will post updates on www.mssociety.ca/ccsvi.

What are your thoughts on Wall’s proposal?

Related:
A recap of the web forum on controversial MS discovery
New treatments for MS
What you need to know about Multiple Sclerosis

‘By Megan Lau

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