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Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre

Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency is described as a chronic  problem (ongoing) where blood from the brain and spine has trouble getting back to the heart. It is caused by a narrowing in the veins (stenosis) that drain the brain and the spine. Blood takes longer to return to the heart, and it can reflux back into the brain and spine or cause oedema and leakage of red blood cells and fluids into the tissues of the brain and spine.

More than 55 percent of multiple sclerosis patients participating in the initial phase of the first randomized clinical study to determine if persons with MS exhibit narrowing of the extracranial veins, causing restriction of normal outflow of blood from the brain, were found to have the abnormality.

The results were reported today by neurology researchers at the University at Buffalo.

When the 10.2 percent of subjects in which results were border line were excluded, the percentage of affected MS patients rose to 62.5 percent, preliminary results show, compared to 25.9 percent of healthy controls.

Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD, UB associate professor of neurology and principal investigator on the study, says he is "cautiously optimistic and excited" about the preliminary data. "The data encourage us to continue on the same course," he says. "They show that narrowing of the extracranial veins, at the very least, is an important association in multiple sclerosis. We will know more when the MRI and other data collected in the CTEVD study are available."

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