A debate has started over the use of a relatively new surgical procedure as treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Based on Italian physician Dr Paolo Zamboni’s 2009 hypothesis that MS can be attributed to vascular reasons, some doctors argue that it should be treated the same way as in the case of blockages in the heart. Others point out that the long-term effects of such a surgery haven’t been established yet.
Dr Vipul Gupta, senior vascular surgeon at Medanta Medicity, Gurgaon who has done a number of such procedures, identifies the condition as “Chronic Cerebro-spinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI), where blockages caused by iron deposits in veins cut down the blood supply to the brain”. These deposits, he says, are surgically removed by balloon angioplasty, followed by the implantation of a stent. He claims about 30-40 per cent of patients at Medanta have shown short-term improvement.
Dr M V Padma Srivastava, professor of neurology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, says, “Dr Zamboni’s study on 70-odd patients was without a control group. He could not establish that these vein blockages were a cause for MS. Till the treatment is proven and approved, it is not ethical to capitalise on the condition of helpless patients.” [Source: Indian Express]
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