MS Patients Seek Therapy Despite FDA Warning

Published: Oct 08, 2012

A controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis has been linked by U.S. health regulators to serious injuries including stroke, paralysis or even death, prompting them to issue an official warning to patients and physicians earlier this year. But California radiologist Michael Arata and other doctors are continuing to treat a condition dubbed "chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency," or CCSVI, on dozens of new patients, based on their conviction that it offers a better quality of life. The experimental technique, introduced three years ago, uses angioplasty balloons or stents to open up narrowed and twisted veins in the neck and chest to help blood drain from the brain. In its warning last May, the Food and Drug Administration said there is no clear evidence CCSVI exists in MS patients, and the procedure to treat it has not been shown to be safe or to help patients.

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