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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, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.