Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pasta and Peeves: The Latest in MS Research

For those of you who are new to this site, I'd like to extend a warm welcome and a brief description of my mission. Those of you who are familiar with my acute insights and penchant for accuracy already know I have dedicated the bulk of my days to intense research on recent scientific breakthroughs the world over that help to improve the diagnostic process and treatment of MS.  It is my mission to bring this information to you with a thoughtful interpretation of its real world impact.

Here are a couple of tidbits you might not have read about.

CCSVI:  The Italian Job

Most of you are aware that Dr. Paolo Zamboni conducted a small study of MS patients in 2008 and discovered that they all had a condition he named Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI), or, as the Sicilians like to call it, linguine vene tritato,  (chopped linguine veins) where narrowed blood vessels in the neck and head prevent blood from properly draining, thereby causing iron deposits and demyelination in the brain.

"The veins, they should-a look more like spaghetti marinara," Dr. Zamboni told neurologists at a conference in Switzerland that year.  "So, whaddya gonna do?  Clean 'em out.  A little olive oil, garlic, and Chianti wash and poof!  It's all-a good now."

Zamboni's technique, Liberation Therapy, also involves inflating a small balloon in the vein, or stenting if venoplasty fails to keep the veins open.  Researchers at the University of Buffalo have employed these techniques in the US, but have omitted the oil, garlic and wine from the procedure.

"Americans are very health-conscious," an unnamed source from the University of Buffalo told me.  "They want a fat-free therapy.  Sure, they want a therapy that improves their symptoms, but they don't want to get fat and have to go on a diet afterwards.  And some of them were afraid to drive post procedure with the smell of wine on their bandages."  Researchers have been working to develop a fat-free olive oil and alcohol-free wine to solve this dilemma, but success is at least ten years away.

Evolution of Diagnostics Criteria--and the Latest Development

The Schumacher criteria: Developed in 1965 and laid the groundwork for diagnosing MS through a clinical neurological exam, the involvement of two or more parts of the CNS, mostly white matter involvement, and the elimination of all other possible conditions.

The Poser criteria:  Replaced Schumacher in 1983 with the development of MRIs and spinal taps that better revealed the presence of disease. These criteria required the presence of at least two lesions and two separate relapses for diagnosis.

The McDonald criteria:  Replaced Poser in 2001 with similar criteria but used advancements in MRI imaging to provide more nuanced evidence of enhancing lesions with gadolinium dye, and VEP testing.

The Burger King criteria:  New in 2013.  Testing similar to McDonald, but flame-broiled.

That about wraps it up.  And don't forget to share this with all your MS friends and loved ones!


  1. Insightful. We Americans only need the garlic infusion if we are protecting our veins from Dracula and not the MS.

  2. But, if we had the wine infusion also then we wouldn't even care about vampires and werewolves! Besides, we should all know by now that vampires are only found in the offices of doctors and werewolves are only found on network television studios in the form of "guest commentators"!

  3. OMG, I AM new to your blog and if I keep coming back I shall have to buy more Depends! This post--so funny! I shall come back whenever I need to know what to ask my Nero about. (I know, he is long dead, but I am a psychic, which you would know if you read MY fascinating blog! Right now I am fighting with my blog, so very interesting. BUT I did add your blog to my BEST OF---maybe I should stop now.