January 24, 2011

Could Your Cardiologist Help MS Patients in the Future?

Posted in Heart Disease in the News tagged , , , , , , at 2:57 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

Main symptoms of Multiple sclerosis. Sources a...

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A large meeting of physicians held last week discussed a new procedure which could lead to interventional cardiologists helping patients with MS (Multiple Sclerosis).

It may seem like treating MS is completely out of a cardiologists’ realm but some scientists are suggesting there can be a link between the blood vessels and MS.  MS is a chronic disease which involves numbness, weakness and muscle spasms in various parts of the body.  The most afflicted patients have tremors and are unable to walk or speak.  Most medical websites state the disease is caused by problems with the immune system and it is best treated with drugs.  Apparently some physicians are working on a non-pharmacologic method now.

At the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy in Miami last week, physicians discussed a new procedure in which the veins in the neck and around the spine are opened up more with balloon angioplasty (similar to the procedure done in the heart arteries for blockages).  This vein angioplasty has been experimented on patients with MS and some of those patients saw improvement in their symptoms.  More trials are underway to look for benefits in more MS patients.

The procedure itself brought up quite a bit of controversy at the meeting.  While the MS community is hopeful for a promising new procedure such as this, the physicians themselves appear to be less enthusiastic about performing the vein angioplasty until studies show conclusive evidence of it’s benefit.