Ottawa – A breakthrough, non-invasive procedure for a vascular disease known as Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency, or CCSVI, has also shown strong potential for treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS), yet those suffering from MS are not currently allowed to have the procedure administered in Canada.

In a debate last night in the House of Commons, Carol Hughes called on the government to allow further study of the method to take place while allowing those diagnosed with MS to have the procedure performed. The practice can be administered to those diagnosed with other vascular blockages only if they are not currently diagnosed with MS.

“CCSVI is a disorder that causes blockages that reduce blood flow in the veins near the central nervous system,” said Hughes. “Canadians with MS are asking for the right to diagnosis and treatment. People not suffering from MS can gain access to both treatment and diagnosis for vascular blockages. Patients with MS are being discriminated against, because their vascular abnormalities occur in the brain, and they suffer from MS.”

The procedure, developed by Dr. Paolo Zamboni, has been shown to significantly reduce or alleviate CCSVI. Though more research is needed to conclude that CCSVI may cause cases of MS, the findings of Dr. Zamboni, as well as the treatment, which is a simple angioplasty administered with local anaesthetic should not be controversial. 47 countries currently recognize CCSVI as a legitimate health concern, and use the procedure developed by Dr. Zamboni, which has been claimed to do wonders for CCSVI and MS patients.

“Every day, three more people in Canada are diagnosed with the disease,” Hughes said. “This is a large group made up predominantly of women in their prime, whose lives and potential societal contributions are being stunted by this harrowing disease. If the potential to improve the lives of these individuals exists, assisting them in obtaining treatment is the responsible and compassionate thing to do.”

CCSVI and the implications of its treatment for MS patients was the topic for a four-hour Take-Note Debate in the House of Commons Monday evening. Carol Hughes, who sits on the Subcommittee on Neurological Disease was the lead speaker for the New Democratic Party in that debate.