Multiple Sclerosis (CCSVI)
CCSVI based on the close spatial relationship of demyelinization plaques and venous vessels was postulated as early as the 1980s and a link between the disorder of the venous outflow in the brain and back marks the development of MS.
The hypothesis of a chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency was developed in recent times by Dr. Paolo Zamboni. Also a link between MS and the occurrence of doppler detected venous valve insufficiency has been reported. The reason for this was often a stenosis (narrowing) of the vena azygos (chest cavity) or the internal jugular vein (neck), which slows down the flow of blood from the brain and upper spinal cord. This backflow results in edema of the cerebral veins. The blood-brain barrier is also affected.
This constriction of blood vessels prevents blood flowing quickly enough, causing autoimmune inflammation which damages the brain and the protective myelin nerve coating.
Widening of the stenotic (narrowed) veins increases the blood flow through them, thus, relieving the back-pressure and eliminating the inflammation, which is causing the damage to the brain and protective myelin.
The Cells4healht CCSVI – MS Treatment
The CCSVI/MS treatment differs from standard methods because, in contrast to temporarily masking symptoms with drugs, it is a drug-free alternative focused on affecting physical changes which can improve a patient’s quality of life.
Before stem cell implantation, each patient undergoes blood tests at the clinic and a comprehensive physical and cognitive assessment.
3.0 Tesla MRI scanner
Specific protocols for MS and CCSVI were developed.These protocols are very specific and can very accurately measure the blood flow and pressure differences in the vicinity of the stenosis. Our MRI allows very precise, shots of the brain and blood vessels in the head, neck and chest area.
This is of utmost importance for patients in whom stenosis is diagnosed when its extent and magnitude has not been sufficiently identified.
The duration of the entire procedure takes about 40 minutes. Patients with claustrophobia may be given a sedative.
A new protocol of computer controlled venography of the head, neck and chest veins (CTPH), which provides an unparalleled view of the entire Venous system. This test takes less than 10 minutes.
Echo / Doppler Duplex
The echo / Doppler-duplex analysis is used to detect disorders of the flap motion and the venous flow. Normally, blood flows from the head to the heart. This flow direction is maintained through the function of venous valves. In CCSVI patients, we often find impaired valve function and a backflow of blood towards the head.
It may also be able to perform these measurements in a sitting position in order to provide additional insights.
This examination takes about 10-20 minutes.
Outline of CCSVI diagnostic process
• Preliminary discussion with the doctor
• MRI with contrast (40 minutes)
• Echo / Doppler duplex (10 minutes)
• CT venography (10 minutes)
• Results and final medical consultation with the radiologist
CCSVI Treatment Option 1 – Liberation Angioplasty
Liberation Angioplasty – X-ray scanning is used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter into the affected jugular vein(s). Once the catheter reaches the target area, the balloon tip expands to widen the stenotic area. This procedure takes about 90 minutes. Afterwards, the patient will spend approximately 4 hours in the recovery room to ensure that the entry site is not bleeding.
CCSVI Treatment Option 2 – Liberation Angioplasty Enhanced with Stem Cells
With this enhanced protocol, liberation angioplasty will be complemented with stem cell therapy. After liberation angioplasty improves the blood flow through the stenotic (narrowed) veins, the introduction of stem cells offers the potential to regenerate the damaged areas inside the brain and/or spinal cord and to decrease inflammation throughout the body.
Many patients have reported extremely swift, marked improvements following this treatment protocol.
The steps for this protocol are described below.
Step 1 – Bone Marrow Collection
Bone marrow is collected from the patient’s iliac crest (hip bone) using thin-needle mini-puncture under local anesthesia. Although some pain is felt when the needle is inserted, most patients do not find the bone marrow collection procedure particularly painful. The entire procedure normally takes about 30 minutes.
Once the bone marrow collection is complete, patients may return to their hotel and go about normal activities. Patients who receive general anesthesia must lie down for a short recovery period before returning to their Hotel.
More detailed information on the bone marrow collection procedure is available in the Bone Marrow Informed Consent document (PDF file).
Step 2 – Laboratory Processing
The stem cells are processed from the bone marrow in a state-of-the-art, government approved (cGMP) laboratory. In the lab, both the quantity and quality of the stem cells are measured. These cells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and are capable of regenerating or repairing damaged tissue.
Step 3 – IV-Mannitol
A venous catheter is inserted into a vein in the right or left arm. Then the Mannitol is introduced over a 20 minute period. Mannitol is a safe, well-known drug that is used to open the blood-brain barrier in order to allow the passage of stem cells and other neurotropic factors into the brain and spinal canal. Next, the stem cells are slowly introduced into the catheter to allow them to thoroughly mix with the blood as they enter the body. No anesthesia is required for this procedure.
A lumbar puncture is a puncture of the spinal canal using a fine needle, beveled at the front, in the lumbar region (lowest vertebrae of the back) of the spinal column for extracting spinal fluid (nerve or cerebral fluid). Lumbar punctures are primarily performed to diagnose for instance inflammatory disorders of the nervous system such as meningitis or multiple sclerosis. The extracted fluid, which is usually clear like water, in such cases is then examined in various ways in the laboratory.
During the LP for the stem cell therapy a volume of spinal fluid is extracted that is equivalent to the volume of your own stem cells intended for transplantation, so as little pressure difference as possible occurs in your spinal fluid space.
Changes in the pressure of the spinal fluid can cause headache. This pain is not dangerous and rarely lasts longer than 1 – 2 days, but the pain can be uncomfortable especially when getting up from a horizontal position due to the changing pressure ratios.
More detailed information on the LP procedure is available in the LP Informed Consent Document (PDF File).
Step 4 – Liberation Angioplasty
Liberation Angioplasty – X-ray scanning is used to guide a balloon-tipped catheter into the affected jugular vein(s). Once the catheter reaches the target area, the balloon tip expands to widen the stenotic area. This procedure takes about 90 minutes. Afterwards, the patient will spend 2 or 3 hours in the recovery room to ensure that the entry site is not bleeding.
Step 5 – Angiography
Angiography – The catheter is then inserted into the fermoral artery, guided through the heart and into the pulmonary artery where the stem cells are released. This approach brings 30-50% of the stem cells indirectly into the brain arteries without risk of embolic complications.
Patients are required to stay in town near the clinic on the day after their angiography/angioplasty procedure for general safety purposes. They may return home any time after that.
Treatment Evaluation Process
In order to be evaluated for CCSVI and/or stem cell treatment, MS patients must complete an online medical history form. Once you’ve completed the online medical history and submitted it, a patient relations consultant will contact you. He or she will assist you with the rest of the evaluation process. Upon treatment approval, your consultant will also assist you with treatment scheduling and trip preparation.