Thursday, August 5, 2010


A small addendum to my last post (picture from here):

You know, it's really quite strange that Dr Zamboni is examining what look to be plain film CT or MRI slices in an old-fashioned radiology viewing room. First, why is he using such antiquated technology? I've never even seen such plain films, and I've looked at many, many head CT/MRIs this summer. Is this some sort of promotional picture for the media's benefit? Second, Dr Zamboni is neither a radiologist nor a neurologist nor a neurosurgeon and his papers concerning both CCSVI and the "liberation treatment" do not actually provide any data about changes in MS lesion distribution before or following treatment. So, what's up with this? It's certainly a nice stock photo of him doing something "doctorly", but I'm unclear. Some of the most recent evidence is not, however:
The first study, out of Germany, involved 56 MS patients and 20 healthy patients. Scientists did ultrasound testing and other imaging exams and found blood flow was normal in all, except for one MS participant. A smaller study out of Sweden that involved 21 MS patients and 20 healthy patients used magnetic resonance imaging to compare blood flow and reached a similar conclusion.

“In this quite small study we find no support for venous vascular surgical treatment and we are not able to confirm the Italian theory,” lead researcher Peter Sundstrom of Umea University in Sweden said.

Dr. Zamboni’s study of the degenerative condition involved 65 patients, who underwent angioplasty to clear blockages. Many in the medical community have been skeptical of his work because it is preliminary, with a small sample size, and has been heavily promoted before going through the rigorous research process.

Yet hundreds of MS patients, including a few Canadians, have travelled to India, Poland, Bulgaria and a few other countries for the surgery. Most say they have increased energy and mobility, but others have described little change. The treatment has led to injury in some cases.
Hmm, indeed.

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