TORONTO - Researchers say a preliminary study of multiple sclerosis patients shows a significant proportion have narrowing of their neck veins - a condition that's been suggested as a possible risk factor for the progressive neurological disease.
Scientists at the University of Buffalo found that 55 per cent of people with MS had narrowing of the veins that control blood flow from the brain, compared to 26 per cent of healthy control subjects.
When the researchers excluded 10.2 per cent of subjects whose results were considered borderline, the proportion of MS patients with the anomaly rose to 62.5 per cent.
The study involving 500 people is the first step in determining if a condition called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI, is a major risk factor for MS.
Principal investigator Dr. Robert Zivadinov says he is cautiously optimistic about the preliminary data, but should have more definitive results after another 500 subjects are examined using more advanced diagnostic tools.
The research is testing a theory proposed by Italian vascular surgeon Dr. Paolo Zamboni that restricted blood flow could injure brain tissue and lead to the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
University of Buffalo
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