Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI or CCVI) is the name of a condition invented by an Italian doctor named Paolo Zamboni. He claims that it is the cause of multiple sclerosis. He also claims to have developed a procedure called "liberation treatment" or "liberation therapy" that will alleviate the symptoms of MS. It involves opening up some of the veins in a patient's neck in order to improve blood flow. He has been treating patients from all over the world for the past few years.
As you might have guessed, the treatment at his clinic is not free.
There has been enormous pressure on the Canadian and provincial governments to fund this treatment for MS patients, who otherwise have no hope of a cure. So far, most provinces have refused to pay for the treatment. In August 2010, CIHR announced that it would not fund research into something that does not exist [CIHR makes recommendations on Canadian MS research priorities].
Ottawa (August 31, 2010) – On Thursday, August 26, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), in collaboration with the MS Society of Canada, convened a meeting of leading North American experts in multiple sclerosis (MS) to identify research priorities for Canada in this area. Today, at a press conference in Ottawa, CIHR President Dr. Alain Beaudet announced the outcomes of the discussions and shared the recommendations he has made to the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health.This is the right decision. Money is scarce and it would be criminal to devote any of it to quackery at the expense of legitimate scientific research.
"There was unanimous agreement from the scientific experts that it is premature to support pan-Canadian clinical trials on the proposed "Liberation Procedure," said Dr. Beaudet. "There is an overwhelming lack of scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy of the procedure, or even that there is any link between blocked veins and MS."
But there's a catch.
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