The members of the Scientific Expert Working Group on Multiple Sclerosis and Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (MS/CCSVI), convened in 2010 by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the MS Society of Canada, held their final meeting in Ottawa yesterday. The Working Group was informed of the preliminary results of the multisite Phase I/II double blinded Interventional Clinical Trial of Balloon Venoplasty for CCSVI in MS patients led by Drs. Anthony Traboulsee and Lindsay Machan.

The results from the UBC researchers were presented ahead of publication at the Society for Interventional Radiology’s annual scientific meeting in Washington, D.C. today. The study was funded, upon recommendation by the Working group, by CIHR, the MS Society of Canada, and the Provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec. It showed that there was no statistically significant difference in MS symptoms, either as reported by the patients themselves or as determined by brain imaging and standard clinical assessments by physicians, between patients who received balloon vein dilation, and a control group who received a mock procedure. It does not support the use of vein dilation therapy in the management of patients with MS.

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