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Shepherd Center Responds to Recent MS Research Reports from Italy

ATLANTA (Dec. 16, 2009) – Recent research released in Italy has generated quite a bit of interest in the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) community. Paolo Zamboni, M.D., released a report that many people with MS have abnormal venous blood flow out of the brain. He has termed this condition Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI). The test used to document the condition involved a series of sophisticated ultrasounds. Dr. Zamboni reports on his success in decreasing relapses and the formation of new MRI lesions after balloon dilation of the abnormal veins. Less success was reported in primary and secondary progressive MS.

“While these results are interesting, caution is warranted,” says Ben W. Thrower, M.D., medical director of the Andrew C. Carlos MS Institute at Shepherd. The treatment trial was not blinded or placebo controlled. "There is a great possibility that bias could be playing an important role in trying to find hope for the treatment of this chronic disease," states Dr. Zamboni. Further trials are necessary and are currently being planned.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, multiple amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. Ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals for rehabilitation and the best in the Southeast, Shepherd Center treats more than 850 inpatients and 7,600 outpatients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.