Mar 08, 2017

By Bob Komsic

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A Canadian trial of a controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis, known as ”liberation therapy,” has found the procedure is not effective in relieving the symptoms of MS and works no better than a placebo treatment.
(Martin Dee / UBC / Canadian Press)
The study was led by Dr. Anthony Trabousee, neurologist and associate professor of neurology at the University of B.C..
The trial involved 104 MS patients.
All had narrowing of either their jugular vein, which drains blood from the brain, or their azygos vein, which drains it from the spinal cord.
They were randomly chosen to receive either an actual venoplasty treatment or placebo treatment where a catheter was inserted but no balloon was inflated to widen the vein.
Neither the patients nor researchers knew who received what, making it a ”double-blinded” study.
Dr. Trabousee says no further research needs to be done.
“We didn’t see any sign of a clear improvement across measurements to  justify going forward with a larger confirmatory study.  It’s done.”
The results, which have yet to be published, were presented Wednesday at the Society for Interventional Radiology’s annual scientific meeting in Washington.
Several thousand Canadians have undergone ”liberation therapy” in clinics outside Canada at a cost of thousands of dollars each.
The therapy’s not approved in this country.
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