Lisa Ling needs to know…

The disease of multiple sclerosis is as American as apple pie, unfortunately. Despite the years of research, scientists don’t know what causes it. Despite the ‘disease-modifying drugs’, scientists can’t cure it. Most importantly, despite the promising new treatment that was introduced in late 2009 by Dr. Paulo Zamboni of Italy, the resistance to the treatment has overshadowed its possibilities!  Zamboni, whose wife has MS, discovered that a high percentage of people with MS have blockages in their internal jugular veins. These veins are not clogged with cholesterol deposits like arteries, but are twisted, pinched or closed off. The internal jugulars are the main conduit of blood leaving the brain on its way back to the heart. When they are blocked, the deoxygenated blood stays in the brain for an abnormally long time. This condition has been named CCSVI or Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insuffiency. It has been hypothesized that this toxic blood lingering in the brain allows iron to be deposited there and sets off chain reactions of the immune system leading to what has (up til now) been called multiple sclerosis. Of course, this is a great dispute.
There are MS sufferers across this great land who are being denied the tests for CCSVI and for its treatment, balloon venoplasty of the affected veins. (which might also include the azygous vein) Neurologists are dead set against this testing and treatment, as are the pharmaceutical companies who supply patients with injectable drugs which can cost $2000/month.
But MS patients are not the timid type. They have bound together in movements and pressed for testing, treatment and studies. Some have traveled to other countries for treatment, hoping to have relief from pain, and a stop to their increasing disabilities. (Disabilities that include: vision disturbances, loss of ambulation, cognitive problems, speech difficulties,extreme fatigue, arm and leg weakness, bowel/bladder issues, etc.) Whether here in the US or abroad, they go to have a treatment that is showing great results in a large percentage of recipients. They go to get hope for a better life!!
I know, because I am one of these who bucked my neurologist and found a doctor to test me and treat me. I had 80% blockage in one jugular and 100% and 90% in the other (two separate areas of one vein). My results have been good so far, but there remains a section of one vein that needs surgical repair or a stent instead of just angioplasty. (I had excellent results for 4 weeks after my first procedure with boundless energy and normal speech, normal legs, etc. But for some reason that section closed up again–I often heard squeaking in that ear and a weird sensation in my neck, so I figured something was happening!) I’m still ‘better’ than I was before the procedures, and I’m thankful for that, but still striving for ‘best’.
Please, Lisa, do a show about people with MS who are fighting the established protocol, trying to better their quality of life, and are finding doctors to help them do that. We with MS are exhausted, disabled and cognitively fogged, but we are fighting because there have been no real advancements in MS. To say that current drugs are ‘miraculous’ is an outright lie.  Their side effects are horrendous, and in the case of those who develop PML from one drug, deadly. The immune theory of MS clearly isn’t the whole story.  Lisa, I hope you can lend your tenacity and grace to uncovering the secrets that CCSVI and multiple sclerosis hold.


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