Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study questions alternative theory for how MS arises

Researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have performed a study that indicates that neither blood flow nor the flow of spinal fluid in the brain contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis, MS. The findings run directly counter to a much-discussed and widely spread Italian theory.

The Umeå scientists are not alone in calling into question the findings of the Italian research team. A study run by a German research group does not either support the Italian theory that the flow of blood to and from the brain contributes to the development of MS.

The two new studies question the wide-spread hypothesis that constrictions of veins, so-called chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI), contribute to the development of MS. The studies are the first negative medical evidence regarding this hypothesis.

Previously an Italian research group has shown in a series of publications that deviations in the venous outflow (backward flow, reduced flow, altered flow) always occur in individuals with MS, but never in those who do not have MS.

The findings have had a tremendous impact on the international media. The Swedish media have also taken up the subject. There are also many Web sites and Internet discussion groups on the theme.

The Italian research team has also published a study where a group of patients with MS underwent vascular surgery with the aim of improving their venous outflow. Two fatalities following such operations have attracted much publicity, as there are no randomized controlled studies of the procedure and the underlying theory has not been scrutinized by other research groups.

"The Italian theory is hard to accept for many reasons. For instance, there are no reports of increased incidence of MS in patients with conditions that impair venous outflow, such as following tumor operations in the throat. For many years, before the advent of magnetic camera technology, MS patients were also often examined using cerebral angiography, so-called skull coloring, a technique that should uncover these kinds of changes," says Peter Sundström, chief physician at the Neurology Clinic, Norrlands universitetssjukhus (University Hospital of Umeå).

The journal Annals of Neurology published the Swedish and German studies that have both studied the new Italian theory on 2 August. Neither study presents results that support the Italian findings.

The German research team studied venous blood flow from the brain using ultrasound – the same method used by the Italian research group. The study showed no reduced blood flow in MS cases compared with healthy controls.

The Umeå University study is a collaboration between the Department of Clinical Neuroscience and the Department of Radiation Sciences. The researchers used a magnetic camera (phase contrast MRI, PC-MRI) to meter the flow of blood from the brain. PC-MRI is regarded as a reliable way to measure the flow in blood vessels, for instance. The study focused on the flow in the internal jugular vein, vena jugularis interna. The flow of spinal fluid in the brain – which the Italian research group also maintains is lower in individuals with MS – was also studied.

In the study no differences were registered between people with MS and healthy control individuals regarding blood flow to the brain or blood flow from the brain via the internal jugular vein, or the flow of spinal fluid in the brain. The study cannot confirm the new Italian theory, and the findings do not support the assumption that operations that improve venous outflow from the brain can be used as treatment for MS.

"No cerebro-cervical venous congestion in patients with multiple sclerosis." Florian Doepp, Friedemann Paul, José M. Valdueza, Klaus Schmierer, and Stephan J. Schreiber. Annals of Neurology; Published Online: August 2, 2010 (DOI:10.1002/ana.22085); Print issue: August 2010.

"Venous and cerebrospinal fluid flow in multiple sclerosis - a case-control study." Peter Sundström, Anders Wåhlin, Khalid Ambarki, Richard Birgander, Anders Eklund and Jan Malm. Annals of Neurology; Published Online: August 2, 2010 (DOI:10.1002/ana.22132); Print issue: August 2010.

Peter Sundström, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University
Mobile: +46 (0)73-324 07 75
Anders Wåhlin, Department of Radiation Sciences, Umeå University
Mobile: +46 (0)70-253 74 26

Bertil Born | idw
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>