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Seeks A Cure

CCSVI and Parkinson's disease

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As the husband of a Parkinson’s patient, I am very concerned that a potentially revolutionary area of Parkinson’s research is being ignored.


Why is no one looking into the vascular aspects of Parkinson’s disease as is being done with so much success in multiple sclerosis? Does poor blood flow to and from the brain cause or contribute to Parkinson’s disease? (I am not asking about vascular parkinsonism, aka multi-infarct parkinsonism, or any other atypical parkinsonism. I am asking about idiopathic Parkinson’s disease.)


I will tell you why I think the vascular aspects of Parkinson’s disease should be researched, but first let me briefly tell you about recent breakthrough research and treatment of multiple sclerosis based on a vascular approach.


Dr Paolo Zamboni of the University of Ferarra, Italy, recently discovered that poor blood drainage of the brain and spine causes or contributes to multiple sclerosis. Dr Zamboni calls this condition chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). This is a chronic problem where blood from the brain and spine has trouble getting back to the heart. It is caused by stenosis in the veins that drain the spine and brain. Blood takes longer to get back to the heart, and it can reflux back into the brain and spine or cause edema and leakage of red blood cells and fluids into the delicate tissue of the brain and spine. Blood that stays in the brain too long creates “slowed perfusion”...a delay in deoxyginated blood leaving the head. This can cause a lack of oxygen (hypoxia) in the brain. Plasma and iron from blood deposited in the brain tissue are also very damaging. See

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/resear ... index.aspx for more information on CCSVI.


Dr Zamboni and other doctors have treated hundreds of multiple sclerosis patients by widening the stenosed veins by angioplasty, and in some cases, stents. See for example, Dr Marian Simka’s response to CCSVI criticism where he states he has treated over 250 patients with no serious complications at

http://for-greet.squarespace.com/journa ... ponse.html . In addition to doctors Zamboni and Simka, other doctors who have treated CCSVI include Michael Dake of Stanford University and Salvatore Sclafani, State University of New York. Clinical studies are planned or ongoing at several locations including Stanford University, State University of New York, the Vascular Group in Albany New York, the University of Buffalo, Georgetown University, and the country of Kuwait.


Research into the vascular aspects of Parkinson’s disease should be done because:


1. Treatment of vascular stenosis has recently been shown to give significant relief from symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and it is strongly suspected that vascular stenosis is a cause of MS. Since Parkinson’s disease and MS are both neurological diseases, vascular aspects of Parkinson’s should be researched.


2. Low oxygen (hypoxia) in the brain appears to be one of the damaging factors in both multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.


3. Both diseases are characterized by abnormally high levels of iron in the brain.


4. Both diseases appear to have a genetic component and do not manifest symptoms until years after birth. This suggests that over time the chronic blood flow problems eventually manifest themselves in damage to the brain and symptoms.


5. The fact that sudden vascular events cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms in vascular Parkinsonism, suggests that long-term on-going vascular problems such as stenosis should be further researched to see if they cause or contribute to Parkinson’s disease. This is especially true now that it has been shown that vascular stenosis appears to cause or contribute to multiple sclerosis.


6. Recent improvements in imaging techniques make it possible to compare cerebro-spinal blood flow between Parkinson's patients and controls to determine if there is a difference and the significance of that difference.


Dr Zamboni, an experienced vascular surgeon, made his breakthrough discovery of CCSVI by observing the blood flow differences between multiple sclerosis patients and persons who did not have MS. Since it is unknown whether it is arterial or venous blood flow that is involved in PD, research should include comparison of blood flow between PD patients and healthy controls in both veins and arteries serving the brain and spine.


Do you have any suggestions as to who might be interested in doing this research, and what can be done to increase interest in this idea?


Thank you for your help.

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Thank you for the wonderful message. I appreciate your enthusiasm and I will post it.


In short I do not believe that the research linking blood flow and multiple sclerosis will hold up to be an important and actual link.


Further, although I believe blood flow is important to brain and neurological function I am not excited about aggressively pursuing research in this area with many other important avenues already open. Although your points are interesting there is little to no evidence this road will lead to a major breakthrough in PD. I want you to know this is just my opinion, and I will post and let everyone express themselves.

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