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SIR Foundation sets research priorities for minimally invasive treatments for MS patients
Date:6/16/2011

FAIRFAX, Va.Evaluating patients with multiple sclerosis who have narrowed jugular and azygos veinsand the value of widening those veins with angioplastywarrants careful, well-designed research, noted members of a Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation's Research Consensus Panel. And, the multidisciplinary panel indicated that while specific parameters for a large-scale, pivotal multicenter trial are not now available, that type of study is the "mandatory goal" in exploring a condition called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (or CCSVI).

"Much work needs to be done to better define, explore and prove the concept of vein obstruction playing a role in causing multiple sclerosis," said Gary P. Siskin, M.D., FSIR, one of the 12 research consensus panel members. The concept that a blockage in the veins that drains blood from the brain and spinal cord and returns it to the heart (CCSVI) might contribute to MS and its symptomsand that widening those veins with angioplasty to improve blood flow may help lessen the severity of MS-related symptomsare poorly understood, said Siskin, an interventional radiologist and chair of the radiology department at Albany Medical Center and the co-chair of the SIRF panel. "This is an entirely new approach to the treatment of patients with neurologic conditions, such as MS, and could be transformative for patients," noted Siskin. "Continued investigation is needed in this area. Researchers are clearly very early in their understanding of both the condition and the treatment," he added.

About 500,000 people in the United States have MS, generally thought of as an incurable, disabling neurologic disease in which a person's body attacks its own cells. Currently, MS is treated with disease-modifying drugs, which modulate or suppress the immune response believed to be central in the progression of the disease, and these drugs carry significant risk. "The idea that there may be a venous component that causes
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Contact: Maryann Verrillo
mverrillo@SIRweb.org
703-460-5572
Society of Interventional Radiology
Source:Eurekalert

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