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Another Bits and Pieces (Mostly CCSVI Related)

Posted Jun 28 2010 7:15pm
The New York Times building in New York, NY ac...

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  • Finally, a major US news outlet runs a feature piece on CCSVI. Tuesday's New York Times carries a very balanced article on Dr. Zamboni's theory and the impact it's having on the MS universe, as the lead story in the paper's Health section ( click here for article ). While giving equal coverage to the pros and cons of the theory, the article focuses on a patient who appears to have clearly benefited from having the narrowing in her veins addressed using the liberation procedure. The article does stress that further research needs to be done, and the patient featured needed multiple venoplasties because of repeated restenosis. This article should open the floodgates of coverage in the US media, which has been almost eerily silent on CCSVI until now. I expect the telephones will be exploding in MS neurologists offices around the country for the rest of the week. Buckle up, folks, we've been cleared for takeoff...
  • The Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) is starting the first official blinded treatment study of the liberation procedure this week ( click here for info ). These are the same good folks who did the CCSVI imaging study released last February, which found that about 60% of MS patients exhibit the hallmark signs of CCSVI, vs. about 25% of healthy subjects that also showed signs of narrowed veins ( click here for info ). This treatment trial consists of two phases. The first phase includes 10 patients who will undergo the liberation procedure using balloon angioplasty only, not stents, who will then be followed for 30 days to track the efficacy and safety of the treatment. If all goes according to plan, another 20 patients will be treated, 10 of those with a "sham" treatment, to serve as a control group. The outcomes of the two groups of 10 patients will be carefully tracked and compared to ascertain the impact of the liberation procedure on patients with early-stage MS. Though this trial is relatively small, let's not forget that a journey of a thousand miles begins with single step...
  • Speaking of the BNAC, their program of fundraising CCSVI MStery parties is in full swing, with parties planned and being held around the country. These shindigs are a great way of donating to CCSVI research while having a good time doing so. This past Sunday night, a party was held at the Seattle restaurant The Pink Door, which raised over $13,000 for the BNAC's CCSVI research. The Wheelchair Kamikaze himself made a virtual appearance at the party via Skype, introducing the BNAC's Director, Dr. Robert Zivadinov (who was also a virtual attendee), to the crowd.. I was even accorded the highest honor a man can be bestowed, as the owner of The Pink Door, Jackie Roberts, named a drink after my Internet alter ego. The "Wheelchair Kamikaze" consists of vodka, triple sec, lime juice, and blue curacao. After drinking three or four of those, you're guaranteed to have as much trouble walking as I do... ( click here for info on how to hold or attend a CCSVI MStery party-even a virtual one!)
  • Just a reminder to sign up for and watch the latest NMSS live webcast, "What's New in MS Research and Treatment", which will be held on Wednesday, June 30, from 1 PM to 2:30 PM ET ( click here to sign up for webcast ). Topics covered will include the new oral MS drug therapies, nervous system regeneration and repair, and (drumroll please) an international overview of CCSVI research. These webcasts are always filled with lots of good information, and, being live, who knows what kind of shenanigans might ensue. I sure hope one of the neurologists isn't caught lip syncing...
  • In keeping with the marijuana theme set by previous "Bits and Pieces" posts, Britain has okayed the use of the world's first cannabis-based medicine, called Sativex ( click here for info ). The drug comes in the form of a spray, and is taken via a spritz into the mouth of a patient. Sativex has been found to effectively reduce spasticity in MS patients, and has been available in Canada for several years. Don't expect to see it available in the US anytime soon, though, because of our asinine laws which so demonize marijuana that it is prohibited from even being experimented with medicinally. And do you know why we have such idiotic laws? To protect our youth from the depravity of illicit drug use, you say? Wrong. Anti-Marijuana legislation was originally enacted to protect the profits of companies such as DuPont and the Hearst Corp., with a liberal dose of racism thrown in for good measure ( click here for info ). Thankfully, several states have taken things into their own hands and okayed medical marijuana, but the vast majority of chronically ill US citizens seeking relief with this natural remedy are considered criminals...

That's it, folks. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here...

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