A controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis patients, which is available in Bulgaria, is gaining popularity in Canada, all the more so after the country's major federal funding agency refused to provide money for it.
A Corner Brook, Canada, man is one of the dozens, who says he's heading for Destination Liberation in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
The procedure, called "Liberation Treatment", consists of putting stents in the veins of the neck to drain the blood from the brain properly. The work is done in a similar fashion to inserting a cardiac catheter.
"I wouldn't travel half way around the world and let someone do something like this if I didn't think it was going to be life-changing," Don Morey (pictured) said, as cited by the Western Star. "When I first read about Bulgaria, "I said what is this.
"Then I got online and started checking it out and checked on Google Earth. I told my mother they're driving new cars, Audis and Porches. When people have a lifestyle like that, they expect good health care."
He was diagnosed with MS 6 1/2 years ago and the progress has been devastating. He walks with a walker.
It was only 10 years ago the certified carpenter was building himself a house.
Now he has courses in auto CAD and is doing drafting.
He's positive the treatment will help improve his condition. He's hopeful he'll eventually be able to walk without a walker soon.
Developed by Dr. Paolo Zamboni, an Italian researcher, the procedure involves angioplasty to help ease the flow in beck veins of blood from the brain to the heart.
According to news reports, Zamboni believes narrowed or blocked veins force blood to move backwards or reflux back into the brain and spine, causing damage.
He's termed the condition chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI.
Many MS specialists say the procedure is experimental at best and could be dangerous.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Posted by BA Haller at 10:24 AM