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Italian group offers $4.5M to fund new MS research on CCSVI ("Chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency")

Posted Jan 28 2010 12:00am

Avis Favaro, CTV Medical Specialist

Date: Wednesday Jan. 27, 2010 5:53 PM ET

The Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation today announced it will allocate up to $4.5 million to fund ongoing research into CCSVI, a condition linked to Multiple Sclerosis.

The foundation says it is accepting research proposals until March 8 from scientists interested in studying "chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency," a newly-discovered condition uncovered by a team at the University of Ferrara in Italy and lead scientist Dr. Paolo Zamboni.

“We await proposals from groups of Italian researchers, in particular by the research groups that are already active with Prof. Zamboni,” the foundation said in an Italian news release.

Zamboni's team believes that CCSVI causes veins in the neck and upper chest to twist, narrow or become blocked; in some cases, these veins never form at all. The result is poor blood drainage from the brain. Zamboni has found that more than 90 per cent of patients with MS have these malformed veins, and improper blood flow from the brain.

Roberta Amaedo, president of the Italian Association for Multiple Sclerosis, said in the release: "We need certainty about the relationship between MS and CCSVI and on the clinical course that this can cause, and on that, clinical trials will make an important contribution.”

The association also cautioned patients against seeking endovascular or surgical procedures to open these blocked veins outside of controlled research studies.

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