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Friday, April 30, 2010


Friday, April 30, 2010

The Medical Industrial Complex: Sick People Required

GAZA, GAZA STRIP -  MARCH 17: A Palestinian med...

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Living life with a chronic illness such as Multiple Sclerosis gives one an inside view of the medical establishment, a view that healthy people rarely glimpse. In the blissful ignorance of good health, modern medicine appears to be bright and shiny, a miracle machine complete with magical elixirs, futuristic technology, and a sophisticated understanding of the maladies that strike human beings. Headlines and television news anchors shout about the latest medical breakthroughs, and a stream of television commercials assure us that there are pharmaceutical remedies for everything from cancer to osteoporosis to erectile dysfunction. Once sick and thrust into the belly of the beast, though, this illusion starts to fall away, and a different reality emerges.

Although there have been some incredible advances made in our efforts to heal sick humans over the last 50 years, there are still vast swathes of patient populations whose illnesses remain poorly understood, insufficiently and ineffectively treated, and ultimately incurable. Problematically, many of these patient populations generate billions and billions of dollars of profit for the modern medical machine, a situation that sets up a paradox within our profit driven medical establishment. Cure these patients, and vast sums of money and an elaborate infrastructure would simply evaporate; keep them perpetually reliant on hyper expensive medicines and medical procedures, and reap the fruits of a perpetual money machine.

Before I am accused of being a conspiracy nut, let me state outright that I do not believe that there is a cabal of evil, mustache twisting, demonic connivers assembled around a huge flaming conference table, snacking on deep-fried baby’s arms while plotting to keep cures and remedies hidden and out of reach from the desperately ill. If this were the case, the solution would be fairly straightforward; simply "out" the conspirators, and the walls would come tumbling down. Rather, the problem has become incorporated into the system itself, insidious and inherent, the logical outcome of the evolution of a medical industrial establishment that has come to view sick people as consumers and horrendous illnesses as opportunities for tremendous financial gain. This system does not require people with malicious intent to keep it functioning; it only needs decent people doing their appointed jobs to the best of their abilities to keep the gears turning.

As previously stated, the past 40 or 50 years have seen some incredible medical advances, most of them in the fields of surgery and in the treatment of traumatic injuries and infectious illnesses. Organ transplants, less invasive surgical techniques, and an ever increasing understanding of human physiology have combined to put a shine on many facets of modern medicine. A patient's chances of surviving a heart attack, or avoiding having one in the first place, are much better now than in 1950. Knee injuries that in decades past would necessitate complex and sometimes crippling surgery can now be done using arthroscopic techniques requiring only tiny incisions, with recovery times measured in a few short weeks rather than many grueling months.

The treatment of some of our most dreadful illnesses, though, have not seen such advances. Ask the average person about the chances of surviving cancer, and I would expect that most would tell you that your odds of beating the disease are much better now than they were 60 years ago, a belief driven largely by the almost relentless marketing done on behalf of the medical profession. The New York Times, though, reports that "the death rate for cancer, adjusted for the size and age of the population, dropped only 5 percent from 1950 to 2005." (Click here for article). Headlines blaring about the latest advance in cancer drugs rarely mention that the studies cited often declare a cancer drug "effective" even if it increases the lifespan of the patients taking it by only a handful of weeks. The fight against some forms of cancer has indeed benefited from modern medical advances, but for many cancers, little real headway has been made.

Since the cure for polio was found in the mid-1950s, very few if any diseases have actually been eradicated. Instead, the trend is towards turning diseases such as diabetes, AIDS, some cancers, and multiple sclerosis into treatable chronic illnesses, their patients heavily reliant on fantastically expensive medications and interventions. The reason for this lies largely in the fact that over 70% of our medical research is carried out by pharmaceutical companies, whose primary mandate is to generate financial profit.

The job of a publicly traded pharmaceutical company CEO is to constantly drive up the price of his company's stock, not to facilitate the creation drugs that would be of the most benefit to the patients taking them. This isn't a question of morality, but of economics. The drug companies, and those who manage them, are merely doing what every other business endeavors to do in our free-market capitalist system, to constantly increase profit. I'm all for free-market capitalism; in recorded history there has been no better economic driver and creator of wealth. Unfortunately, when applied to healthcare, in many cases good economics has led to very bad medicine. The corroding influence of big money, in addition to an environment of lax regulation, has led to some shocking abuses of the system, such as the marketing of drugs that are known to be dangerous (click here for info), and the suppression of studies whose results are unfavorable to the drug being tested (click here for info).

Over the past three decades, pharmaceutical companies have discovered that the best way to increase profit is to market "blockbuster" drugs that patients must stay on for the rest of their lives. In the case of multiple sclerosis, this has led almost all research to concentrate on compounds that alter or suppress the human immune system, based on the "autoimmune model" of the disease, which states that MS is the result of an immune system gone awry. In reality, it's becoming more and more clear that the aberrant immune response seen in MS patients is more a symptom than a cause of the disease. Some unknown agent is driving the immune system to attack the central nervous system, the latest and hottest theory being that the vascular abnormalities collectively known as CCSVI (click here for info) might be the cause.

Since the mission of pharmaceutical companies is to generate the most bang for their research bucks, they direct their research dollars to projects that have the best possibility of leading to substantial profit. This, in turn, influences the behavior of even the most well-meaning medical researchers, who, just like everybody else, need to feed their families and pay their bills, and who naturally seek to advance their careers. Thus, they are drawn to investigations that will most likely win hotly contested research dollars. That funding, the vast majority of which comes from the big pharmaceutical companies, goes almost exclusively into researching novel compounds that can be patented and remain the sole property of the company that discovers them for many profitable years.

This same dynamic inherently underfunds research seeking to eradicate diseases that have each, in effect, become multibillion dollar a year industries. This is not because of evil or malicious intent, but instead is the result of the economic engine that drives what can be called the "medical industrial complex", the misguided marriage between profit-seeking corporations and the healthcare industry, which requires a perpetual supply of sick people to keep the money flowing. This need for patients is so intense that it can sometimes lead previously untreated and relatively benign conditions to be deemed diseases that require pharmaceutical intervention, as in the case of osteopenia (click here for details).

This same drive also leaves many potentially effective but unprofitable remedies untested and relatively ignored. Drugs such as Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) and the effects of diet and natural remedies have barely been studied for their impact on MS, simply because there is no profit to be made from them. Recently, a cheap blood pressure medication, Lisinopril, has been shown to have some promise as an MS drug. This discovery wasn't made by any run-of-the-mill research scientist, but by Dr. Jim Steinman, one of the inventors of Tysabri, a very expensive and controversial MS medication that is very effective but also carries with it the possibilities of very serious side effects. Dr. Steinman would like to see a full scale human study of the effects of Lisinopril, but says that "Lisinopril is as inexpensive as any prescription drug at this time, so pharmaceutical companies won't see any profits from financing a study" (click here for article). Thus, the drug remains unstudied in its effectiveness against MS, for now and probably forever.

It's hard to see a solution to this disheartening status quo, other than a significant increase in the government funding of medical research. Unfortunately, the trends are heading in the opposite direction, with more and more funding coming from the private sector, as public dollars become scarcer and scarcer in this age of soaring deficits and cries for smaller government.

As a patient suffering from MS, the situation is incredibly frustrating, as it's clear to me that much of the research now being done on the disease is not conducted with patient benefit as its primary underlying goal, but rather with the profit potential and market share that each patient represents as the target. The recent CCSVI controversy has brought this situation into focus for thousands of MS patients, because if relatively simple vascular surgery can indeed treat MS effectively, the multibillion dollar a year treasure chest that is MS will be wrested from the grasp of the pharmaceutical companies, whose financial influence within the medical and political sectors cannot be understated. The medical industrial complex is a self-perpetuating entity that will not easily be shut down, the sheer force of its financial weight creating an almost irresistible momentum.

I'll let my final words on the subject be these: As a just and honorable society, please, view me first as a patient, not as a consumer. Human suffering should never be treated as a commodity, regardless of the considerable economic incentives to do so.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Angela Spindler Here's what I sent if anyone wants to use it as a template:

Hello! I am hoping to help you help me and countless others. At this very moment MS patients are prepared to pay out of pocket for a run of the mill, minimal risk medical procedure we are being denied. Some are truly growing desperate.

Based on a theory that Multiple Sclerosis is ... See Morelinked to chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI, a condition where blocked veins in the neck or chest prevent blood from draining properly from the brain, an Italian vascular doc has devised a treatment similar to angioplasty as a fix.

We speculate denial of this procedure may be due to the millions of dollars drug companies and MS societies might lose should our debilitating disease be snuffed out. Simply a venogram to find blockages, found most often in the jugulars and azygous veins, is done for an official diagnosis of CCSVI. Then with the very same catheter, balloons are inserted to remedy blocks or kinks as needed.

Will you offer this or similar procedures to diagnose and remove vein blockages?

After much evidence, experts in 47 countries voted to include CCSVI in the latest 'Consensus on Venous Malformations,' now published at: http://tinyurl.com/yh8qgq3 . Many studies on safety and CCSVI links to MS are now available, but the most compelling argument for proceeding is the overwhelming number of success stories. Some tell of immediate improvements of MS symptoms. While others report remaining MS free four years since treatment.

The overwhelming news spreading throughout the internet cannot be ignored. Vascular surgeons, neurologists and interventional radiologists who take the time to read the evidence are recognizing the truncular venous malformations as preceding MS lesions. Our worsening MS symptoms aside though, shouldn't blocked veins restricting flow from the brain be of the utmost importance?

Many of us have traveled to Poland, India, Bulgaria, Eygpt and beyond paying upwards of $10,000 per procedure. But as you have recognized on your website - so many in need remain stranded at home unable to travel so far by plane. Thanks in advance, Angela

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Great CCSVI Scandal of 2010

I want to take a look at the future. A time when citizens of Canada look back to 2010. A watershed year in the history of MS.

I’m 52 and I remember the Tainted Blood Scandal of the 80’s. A time when people turned a blind eye to a mounting body of evidence that the national blood supply was tainted. Innocent people got sick, and many died of mystery diseases that we now call Hepatitis and AIDS.

In so many ways the drive to have CCSVI recognized and treated is being met with shameful roadblocks and silence. Could we be going down the same path?

Please look at this Tainted Blood Timeline from the CBC article:

1974: First cases of what was then called non-A, non-B hepatitis (later identified as hepatitis C) to be transmitted through blood transfusions, are identified.

1985: Canadian Red Cross starts testing blood products for the AIDS virus.

1990: The Canadian Red Cross starts direct screening for the hepatitis C virus. But unscreened plasma in blood products still reaches some patients, possibly for as long as two years

1993: Order in Council authorizes the Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada. Ontario Court of Appeal Justice Horace Krever appointed as commissioner.

1995: Krever Commission warns the Canadian Red Cross, federal and provincial governments, pharmaceutical companies and individuals, that they may be named for wrongdoing in the tainted blood inquiry.

1998: RCMP concludes review process and launches criminal investigation into Canada's blood distribution system.

2006: Dr. Roger Perrault goes on trial in Toronto on charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and criminal nuisance endangering the public. The trial of the former medical head of the Canadian Red Cross is scheduled to last into 2007.

2006: Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces a $1 billion compensation package for 5,500 people who contracted hepatitis C before 1986.

CBC - Canada's tainted blood scandal: A timeline:

CBC - Tainted blood scandal:

To me the drive to have CCSVI recognized in 2010, is showing many parallels to the formative years of the Tainted Blood Scandal, so long ago.

At the end of 2009 many Neurologists just didn’t believe that people with MS would have blood flow problems, or CCSVI. On mass they said this was ridiculous, yet they never looked!

Month after month goes by and a vast majority of those tested around the globe now have documented cases of CCSVI. An estimated 1,400 people have had CCSVI testing done, more than 300 in Canada alone, and the evidence is building. Between 80% and 95% of those with clinically defined MS show CCSVI. The numbers tend to be higher, when Venography is used as an investigative tool.

Now in 2010 we are seeing people from around the globe get the Liberation Treatment. I would guess over 500-treatments have been performed, and an overwhelming majority show improvements. Some are subtle and some are more dramatic.

In 2010 I have not heard of a single case where anyone had an adverse reaction from the Liberation Angioplasty, and I cannot think of a single case where anyone got worse. Many times the Liberation Treatment is less than an hour. One person said the most painful part of their treatment, was taking off the sticky band-aid a few days later.

But just like the mid 80’s Blood Scandal, we are seeing Doctors, Government Officials, and respective governing bodies standing silent, or putting up roadblocks to those most in need.

Dr. Zamboni said time and time again, that the CCSVI Liberation Treatment should be offered immediately to those who are no longer responding to any known treatment, and who are facing certain permanent disability or death from this monster called MS. To do anything else is inhumane.

2010 is going to be a watershed year. Change is in the air, and a line is being drawn in the sand.

Unlike the mid 80’s we now have “social media” in many forms. Every keyboard click leaves a trail. Facebook and YouTube videos instantly inform, and TV signals continue to flow.

The roadblocks are being talked about. The real-time buzz is completely global. People who are in a position of power stand silent, and those who go out of their way to put up roadblocks, have left a permanent mark. An indelible record of their inhumanity.

The fight for the treatment of CCSVI is growing. It’s unstoppable now, because we are simply fighting for the right, a fundamental right, to have a blood flow problem treated.

The high-tech foundation of a CCSVI Treatment Scandal is forming. This time social media will be a strong enduring voice for those too weak to fight. It will shine light on the suffering of too many, who needlessly slip into the darkness of time. The timeline of shame has been archived on countless hard drives around the globe, for all to witness.

2.5 Million MS sufferers will soon see every MS patient in Kuwait Liberated. The mounting evidence in support of CCSVI treatment will be even stronger, and the justification to oppose this will be harder to justify. In fact it may become a Charter of Rights issue, because mounting evidence is being pushed aside.

Many years ago, Governments argued there was no test available to screen blood for the virus before 1986, so there was no way to protect the blood supply. Yet their inaction has cost over $1.1billion in compensation, because delays needlessly hurt Canadians.

With CCSVI we currently have tests right now. Those suffering from MS can be tested and treated today. To not do this now, will be the subject of both Federal and Provincial Inquiries. It’s just a matter of time. Regardless of legal liability, all Governments have a moral responsibility to Canadians.

I can see the media headlines now, where someone with MS dies needlessly in a hospital, when a quick minimally invasive treatment option sits idle, down the hospital hall. It’s just a matter of time. All because Vascular Surgeons and Interventional Radiologists have their hands tied, and roadblocks were put up, preventing them from doing what they are already trained to do.

Sadly this is happening right now from coast to coast, and there is no justification for this immoral inaction. 70,000 with MS in Canada are watching this unfold.

I predict that in a few years we will see history repeating, unless something is done now. We will see Federal and Provincial Inquires emerge, and they will all say that this must never happen again. Access to known and safe treatments must never be blocked.

Is this our dark future? Will this situation be turned around before we reach this tipping point?

Those who oppose CCSVI will look back to 2010 with great shame. Their day is coming when a vast majority in society will never forgive them for the needless suffering they have imposed. We will remember your names, your political agendas, and your bullshit arguments. Because you enabled roadblocks and denied precious hope and treatment from the very people who need it most...


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Main | CCSVI: Liberation Treatment Shut Down In B.C. »

CCSVI Debate on Alberta Primetime - Simka's Response

Last week, Alberta Prime Time had a debate between Alberta Neurologist Brad Stewart and False Creek Surgical Center's Clinic Director, Mark Godley.

Dr. Marian Simka, who has treated around 250 patients for CCSVI in his clinic in Poland, has responded to this debate as follows:

"Dr. Stewart emphasized that published results from Italy (Zamboni's initial study) show that many patients do not improve after the surgery. These are real facts. But in going into the details of this article we will find that early stage patients (relapsing remitting), in general, improve. Progressive patients stabilize (that is not bad, but not as good as an improvement). The issue of chronic fatigue was not discussed, yet - it is perhaps not necessary to point how important this problem is for the patients. Anyway, knowing that the earlier that venous obstacles are removed, the better the result, an approach of "just wait for more evidence, unless there is no option for you" makes no sense. On the contrary, the treatments should be performed immediately after the first symptoms appear.

And now I am going to Dr. Godley's statement. In short, "Forget MS, is is vascular problem. MS should be managed by neurologists, while narrowing of blood vessels belong to vascular surgeons". You know, being a surgeon, I would never discuss a doseage of neurologic drugs, for example. So, why are the neurologists discussing which type of surgery should or should not be performed? Have they ever held a lancet?

The whole discussion about stent migration is ridiculous. All are saying: "Don't perform stenting because of the risk of migration". Nobody is discusing: "How to perform the procedure to avoid this complication". In Poland, we have spent hours discussing this issue. And it is only a technical problem that CAN be solved and HAS been solved. It is the problem of proper preop diagnostics, proper intraop tactics and proper choice of the stent. The stent should be tailored to the vein. And such a stent CANNOT migrate. And if you cannot tailor the stent, or stenting is just not necessary - you simply perform ballooning. But Zamboni's statistics show that in 50% of the patients ballooning is not enough. Consequently, either you will require repetitive balloon angioplasty (most likely not very successful), or you will have progression of MS. Or - you should use stent. (In Latin: Aut, aut, tertium non datur)

What about safety. In our department we have already performed ~250 procedures, in over 100 patients we have applied stents. Serious complications: ZERO. Yet, in some patients, anticipating potential risks, only balloon angioplasty was done.

Another problem. Many doctors say: "We should establish the actual link between MS and CCSVI, and having these data we can perform treatments". Is such an approach correct? No !

Imagine, after some 3-5 years we have those data. They will be, most likely (I am nearly sure, since I already have the results), somewhere in between Zamboni's and Zivadinov's findings: ~90% MS patients and ~10-20% healthy people will have CCSVI. Another association, like EB virus, Actually, no argument for surgery.

And now forget MS. You have compromised blood flow in the most important organ of human's body (tens of articles on that, only an explanation was missing). This disturbed blood flow is manifested by many symptoms, not even mentioned in the criteria for MS, like: fatigue, "brainfog", headaches, etc. It has been already demonstrated in Zamboni's study that these symptoms dramatically improve after restoring the proper blood flow (anyway, it seems logical, but if anyone were asking for data - here they are). Unblocking obstructed veins is rather a simple procedure and a safe procedure (much safer than leaving those "diabolic" strictures). The real problem actually is: how to perform preop diagnosis (Zamboni's protocol is very far from ideal). What about other test (we are very proud of our MRV protocol (some images are at: ccsvimri.blogspot.com). Which endovascular equipment should be used (a very technical problem, but can be solved). What about postop medication (we know that oral anticoagulants are not a good option, but what about other drugs?). Those are real topic for clinical trials.

In Poland we say: Dogs are barking, but they will not stop the caravan."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ On a Wing and a Prayer Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ .•♥•.¸Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ¸.•♥• Today, I will accept myself just as I am. I will reaffirm that I am a beautiful person, just as I am. Today I will accept myself just as I am. I will love myself just as I am. Today I will say to the infinite divine being, the mystery that we call God, "thank you God for making me just as I am." Knowing this I will see the world just as it is. I will accept the world just as it is. And in the clarity of that awareness, I will feel peace, love, harmony, laughter, and love. — Deepak Chopra - The Soul of Healing Affirmations .•♥•.¸Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ¸.•♥•
By: Lotus

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Paolo Zamboni and Kuwait government---working together
CCSVI treatment will begin for Kuwait MS patients.
This is from GiCi, the cardiac surgeon who has been liberated, and is friends with Dr. Zamboni- GiCi on the ThisIsMS.com

"I have just received a message from Zamboni: the Kuwait government has decided to treat all its 6000 MS patients with angioplasty at the rate of 10 a day and has asked him for technical assistance.
This is the break-through we all were waiting for and, even if it will not benefit MS patients in the western world immediately, it will certainly pave the way for converting sceptics in the future.

Gianfranco Campalani (GiCi) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8510437.stm
is giving us inside information, directly from Dr. Zamboni that all MS patients will be treated. I did some digging and found some press out of Kuwait which is more cautionary, but still VERY encouraging. As I've learned from the press in the US, the whole story is not always told....

From The Kuwait Times-

Kuwaiti urged to launch research program ASAP
Published Date: April 07, 2010
By Ahmad Saeid, Staff Writer

KUWAIT: A Kuwaiti doctor and academic has urged the Ministry of Health to take the necessary steps to launch a research program to investigate the possibility of venous catheterization being helpful in treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms. Speaking during a seminar held at the Arab Media Forum headquarters in Yarmouk on Monday evening, Assistant Kuwait University Professor Dr. Tariq Sinan said that the catheterization procedure is completely safe, with very few risks.

It only takes around 15 minutes, and it reduces the [MS] symptoms drastically," he said, adding that neither the health minister or his deputy have suggested that the procedure should be completely stopped. "All they said is that we should hold back a little bit until we are sure this procedure is safe, and I agree with them," he explained.

Dr. Sinan explained that Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable disease that usually occurs in young adults, which is caused by an as-yet unexplained condition, wherein the human immune system attacks nervous system. It occurs more in females than male, and its symptoms include visual problems, fatigue, muscle weakness and other nervous system related symptoms.

So far there is no known cure for this fatal disease," said Dr. Sinan. "There was, however an experiment by an Italian doctor that found a correlation between many symptoms of the disease and narrowed neck veins, and many of those symptoms can be removed by a simple procedure to widen the neck veins." In many cases where this procedure has been carried out, he said, patients' conditions improved enormously.

Amira Al-Mashhoody, a Kuwaiti woman with MS, was extremely positive about the treatment's benefits, telling the Kuwait Times, "We were so desperate to find a solution for our problem that we were constantly browsing the internet and following all the research about MS round the world. We found out that this was done in Poland, and that the results were amazing," she said.

Al-Mashhoody, who is the vice president of the Kuwaiti MS Patients' Association said that after finding out about the amazing results of this procedure, a number of association members visited Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Muzaini, who formed a team of doctors consisting of Dr. Sinan and Dr. Hussain Safar, who visited the health minister and explained to him that the procedure is safe, simple and extremely beneficial.

After receiving the permission of the minister to carry out the procedure, doctors needed someone to volunteer to be the first neck catheter recipient in Kuwait, with Amira Al-Mashhoody decided to volunteer herself.

I used to be very depressed, angry, and my life was miserable," said Al-Mashhoody, "I wasn't able to do anything alone, and my daughter used to help me dress, but right after the procedure I felt that my arms and legs were warmer, and I was able to dress myself alone and leave the room without help.

She continued, "Since then, and until the ministry's decision to halt these procedures, 12 Kuwaiti patients have gone through the catheterization process and they're all in great shape and feeling much better than they used to.

Muna Al-Musairea' was one of the 12 patients who went through the procedure. She said that during the catheterization operation, she was asking the doctors whether the level of lighting in the room had been turned up because her vision improved immediately.

A neurologist was standing next to me, and he said that he didn't believe what I was saying!" she noted. Dr. Sinan noted that many neurologists don't believe that vein width is related to MS symptoms, explaining that this disagreement was the reason behind the ministry's ordering the suspension of the catheterization procedures.

They asked to stop these 'operations' until thorough research is carried out to prove their safety, and their effects on patients' health," he said. The prominent doctor added that doctors on both sides are concerned about the patients' wellbeing, emphasizing that differences of opinion between doctors don't necessarily mean that one party is wrong and the other is right.

Dr. Sinan asserted that the MoH is expected to approve the launch of a research program into the benefits of venous catheterization in MS treatment within the next few days. He urged the ministry to issue its decision on the matter and form the necessary investigative committee as quickly as possible.

Time is always working against MS patients and, in some cases, the damage is completely irreversible, so delay in this regard will cost many people part of their lives," he stressed.

Here is a press release from Kuwait:

Kuwait to resume conducting MS surgeries
Health 4/5/2010 7:52:00 PM

By Mubarak Al-Hajeri KUWAIT, April 5 (KUNA) -- The Ministry of Health will resume surgeries for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in a few days following approval of a relevant protocol for treating this disease.
Health Minister Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer said in a statement to KUNA on Monday the operations would be conducted after a written approval by the patients and informing them on possible side-effects of the operation.
He indicated that this surgery is still classified in the testing stage, has not been accredited by the relevant international health authorities and warrants further researches to ensure that the patients undergoing such surgeries would not suffer from serious side-effects.
Dr. Paolo Zamboni, an Italian vascular surgeon, devised an experimental treatment similar to angioplasty, which involves removing the blockage in the veins that carry blood to and from the brain. Zamboni gained international attention after he published a study in 2009 that suggested the treatment was highly successful in reducing MS symptoms.
However, some experts have expressed concern that the surgery may cause clots in the brain.
In general, people with MS can experience partial or complete loss of any function that is controlled by, or passes through, the brain or spinal cord. (end) mah.rf.rk KUNA 051952 Apr 10NNNN

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Slow but Certain Massacre

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Slow but Certain Massacre

I have been doing a lot of thinking since arriving home from Poland after being liberated. My experience in Katowice was wonderful and I met many people, who like me, were forced to leave their countries because medical attention for their blocked jugulars was denied. The fact that many MS Societies all over the world, including Canada, are spreading doubt and lies about CCSVI and it's treatment are a travesty. I heard a story from a family from Holland that the MS Society there is telling people it is too dangerous to travel to Poland as it's a third world country and many people have been killed by Dr. Simka and his team. I keep hearing the erroneous story about the patient from Stanford who died from the liberation procedure, when in fact, she had an unrelated aneurysm of her brain, and bled out.

All these crazy stories that are being circulated are meant to scare us into not seeking treatment for a serious and debilitating condition. Why? I believe it has to with greed on the part of the pharmaceutical companies and the MS Societies and health professionals who make a tidy profit off our illness. If CCSVI and the liberation treatment gets the world wide press it deserves, what do you think will happen to the profit margins of Big Pharma? New oral drugs for the treatment of MS symptoms are set to come on the market soon and if investors knew the real story about CCSVI I'm certain it would create fear and doubt in the minds of the investors and consequently cause a huge market drop. Companies like Teva who only cater to treating the symptoms of MS would go under. Many other companies would show huge profit losses and the research grants and kick backs would dry up. The treatment of MS is a multi billion dollar business and CCSVI threatens to destroy it.

Because of the fact that our Canadian MS Society is doing everything in it's power to quash the CCSVI movement, thousands of it's supporters have turned their backs and closed their wallets to them because they know the MS Society has been doing everything in it's power to discredit CCSVI as they fear the inevitable loss of revenue from Big Pharma. Paid employees of the National MS Society of Canada, such as April Royale will argue and state that the Canadian MS Society IS giving money for CCSVI research. This is true. What Ms. Royale fails to mention is that the grants are in $100,000.00 increments. Basically, this means that a researcher can apply for, and receive from the Canadian MS Society, only $100,000.00 to conduct research on CCSVI. In the world of research that small amount of money is a pittance and obviously a token gesture by the Canadian MS Society. Ms. Royale and all the paid employees of the Canadian MS Society know full well that it takes millions of dollars in order to adequately fund and carry out research.

In Alberta and across Canada, provincial health care is denying CCSVI scanning coverage for patients with MS. Dr. Robert Sevick is the head of Alberta Health's Radiology section, and a key person that wields the power to allow CCSVI scanning in Alberta. Curiously, after CTV's W5 presentation in November of Dr. Zamboni's breakthrough, I was told by a radiology tech at Mayfair clinic in Calgary, that they received a letter from Alberta Health Services stating that they should cease and desist CCSVI scanning for MS patients and return the requisition form to the issuing Doctor. I was shocked and saddened because just a couple weeks prior to this e mail, Mayfair was working hard to be able to offer CCSVI scanning. I asked the Mayfair tech why a private clinic such as Mayfair would follow these directives as they were a privately owned diagnostic imaging centre. She told me that the letter stated that CCSVI was unproven and that the radiologists were afraid of diagnosing an unproven ailment so they opted to wait it out. I called Dr. Sevick's office after this and was told by his receptionist that she and Dr. Sevick knew nothing of this letter. So why would Mayfair lie about receiving something like that? A few weeks later AHC published a statement about CCSVI, so closely worded to that letter, that I nearly spit out the coffee I was drinking.

Health professionals that we have depended on to let us know about medical breakthroughs, treatments and education are seemingly turning their backs on CCSVI before research can even begin. Despite the fact that Dr. Zivadinov and Dr. Weinstock-Guttman have produced promising preliminary data in the BNAC study for CCSVI, many Doctors refuse to acknowledge it. Dr. Lou Ann Metz, Director of the Calgary MS Clinic has seemingly gone out of her way to discredit Dr. Zamboni's work and whine about being deluged with MS patients calling about CCSVI. In a newspaper article published in the National Post and written by Tom Blackwell, Metz laments about angry patients calling and tying up the clinic phone lines and worries that we will all be crushed when CCSVI turns out to be a "medical dead end". Metz has said many negative things about CCSVI in the past few months, including calling CCSVI "quackery" I am told. The irony of this situation is that the Calgary MS Clinic phoned me a few weeks ago to ask if I would be interested in taking part in an MS study about how physical activity using a Nintendo Wii Fit impacts people with MS. I asked the girl phoning me if this was a joke. Nope. It was real. I asked her how a ridiculous study such as this gets multi million dollar funding and CCSVI is barely on the radar. I told her I was appalled and insulted and that the Doctor(s) heading the study should be ashamed. She replied that she would take me off the list of potential research subjects and that they wouldn't be bothering me again.

It is my firm belief that, in the interest of the almighty dollar,Canadian MS patients are being denied medical testing and research is being dismissed and discredited. The Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale, or EDSS, that Neurologists use to quantify disability of an MS patient ranges from zero to ten. It starts at zero being normal and ends in 10 being "death due to MS". Based on the EDSS it is a well known fact that death is the final outcome of multiple sclerosis yet, when there is finally a promising, non drug treatment on the horizon, every attempt is made by the greedy to stamp it out. This is nothing short of man slaughter and the people and organizations responsible for this heinous crime should be held accountable.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Estriol for MS

Estriol Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis

Phase II Trial Results Show Promise

Sep 20, 2008 Elaine Moore

A beneficial role for sex hormones in multiple sclerosis (MS) was first proposed because of observations that symptoms in MS improved during pregnancy.

In addition, the transient improvement in MS during pregnancy is most pronounced during the third trimester, and MS occurs 2-3 times more often in women than men.


In the 1990s, Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl, the Director of UCLA’s MS Program, discovered that the hormone estriol, which rises in pregnancy, suppressed symptoms in MS. As a treatment estriol holds an advantage because it can be taken orally. In addition, estriol reduces the ability of immune cells to attack the brain, and it makes the brain more resistant to damage. Dr. Voskuhl calls this a two-pronged approach in which there’s an anti-inflammatory prong that reduces attacks on the brain and a neuroprotective plug that helps the brain heal in case of an attack.

Phase I Clinical Trial

In 2002 Dr. Voskuhl conducted a phase I clinical trial involving 12 non-pregnant women (average age 44 yrs) with either relapsing-remitting (RRMS) or secondary progressive MS (SPMS) who were treated with 8 mg estriol daily (causing levels similar to those seen in pregnancy). Two women withdrew from the study, one for concurrent steroid use, and one because she didn’t want to refrain from medications during the post-treatment phase of the study.

The Results

The results showed an impressive 80 percent reduction in gadolinium-enhancing inflammatory brain lesions on monthly cerebral magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests in women with RRMS. Cognitive improvement was also noted in all patients with RRMS. During the six-month post-treatment period, median total enhancing lesion volumes and numbers became variable in the first three months off treatment, before returning to near-baseline levels in the last three months. Patients with SPMS showed no measurable improvements.

Patients re-treated over the course of four months showed a decrease in enhancing lesion volumes and in numbers compared with original baseline scores. After publication of the study, Dr. Voskuhl reported that additional studies performed on the six patients with RRMS showed an increase in IL-5 and a decrease in TNF.

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Phase II Study

In March, 2007, Dr. Voskuhl began recruiting patients for a 2-year long, placebo controlled, double blind estriol study. The study involves 130 women with relapsing-remitting who are being treated at 7 different MS centers in the United States.

Patients in the study are being given either estriol or a placebo along with Copaxone. Investigators will measure the relapse rate for patients.

The Significance

Earlier studies in pregnant women and animal models suggested that estriol might be beneficial in MS by causing an immune shift from T helper 1 to T helper 2, potentially improving symptoms in a number of autoimmune diseases. If estriol works well for patients with MS, researchers believe that estriol will improve other diseases known to improve during pregnancy such as Graves’ disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

Preliminary Results

On September 19, 2008 at the World Congress on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis Meeting (ACTRIMS, ECTRIMS and LACTRIMS) in Montreal, Canada, Dr. Voskuhl presented exciting preliminary results of Phase II a of her clinical trial of estriol in MS. In a presentation from her laboratory, she showed that estriol treatment decreases matrix metalloproteinase (MMP). MMP plays a critical role in the migration of inflammatory cells into the central nervous system. Elevated levels of MMP-9 have been described in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of multiple sclerosis patients, and they predict the occurrence of new active lesions on brain MRIs

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What is really going on with TheMS Societies?

Ginger, congrats on the procedure and also I join you in your feelings towards the MS Societies around the world,especial the Canadian and U.S. Societies. They are in bed with the FDA, big pharma and the Neurological community. They need to be exposed in the media.They should be ashamed of their conduct and behavior. Remember there are those who have and suffer from MS and those who live off of MS. The U.S. MS Society paid JOYCE NELSON,THEIR C.E.O $445,000 plus benefits last year. Is that a little much, or what? Over the 3 years my Walk Team has raised over $85,000 for the Eastern Chapter of North Carolina MS Society. This year because of the Nationals attitude I refuse to be any part of the Walk campaign.Why is it always more trials or a new drug that cost 3 grand per month? I will tell you why, THE FDA AND BIG PHARMA ARE IN BED WITH THE MS SOCIETIES. IS IT NOT ODD THAT THE SCIENTIFIC AND MEDICAL COMMUNITIES HAVE NOT CURED A DISEASE SINCE 1950 WHEN JONAS SALK CURED POLIO? I HAVE BEEN PISSED FOR THE LAST YEAR. Looking forward to your next blog. Be well, Roger Cawiezell