MS studies promising

A recent announcement that the province will be embarking on a multiple sclerosis ‘observational study’ is good news for those battling the disease.

MS has been in the news quite a bit over the past several months, primarily because of a controversial treatment where patients undergo surgery for blocked or narrowed veins. The procedure was introduced by Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon who believes that MS is not an auto-immune condition but a vascular disease.

The Zamboni treatment, which is not approved for use in Canada, is being offered in other countries. Many who have undergone the surgery say they have noticed positive and significant differences in how they feel afterwards.

What needs to be done from this point forward is that experts need to focus more closely on not just Zamboni’s theory but on how those who have had it fare in the months and years ahead.

What exactly is the long-range story?

To that end, residents with MS are being asked to take part in a study to track their experiences. The study will also focus on those who have had the Zamboni treatment or other similar procedures.

For many reasons, it’s critical that MS research in general receive more attention.

It’s the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada.

Symptoms include vision disturbances, extreme fatigue, coordination problems, pain, depression, bladder and bowel problems and short-term memory loss.

Canadians also have one of the highest rates of MS in the world, according to the MS Society. Most of us know someone with MS, and know only too well the devastating effects it can have.

Ultimately, in situations where opinions over a medical treatment run the gamut from solid support to outright rejection, governments are often very reluctant to get involved in any meaningful way.

That’s why the province should be congratulated for the observational study. They aim to take everything into account – the positive experiences from the Zamboni treatment to the stories of those who felt nothing afterwards – or perhaps felt worse.

A recent release says the government wants to hear about it all, so decisions can be made about follow-up care “for those who have received the treatment abroad. It will also help determine safety and will support the design of effective clinical trials.”

The Alberta Multiple Sclerosis Initiative (TAMSI) study will include an online survey at that patients with MS or related conditions, once registered, will fill out at six, 12, 18 and 24-month intervals.

This is a timely and vital course of action. Every day, three more people in Canada are diagnosed with MS, and women are more than three times as likely to develop MS as men. Clearly, statistics like these demand a much greater emphasis on finding answers.

Just Posted

Blackfalds RCMP investigate break and enter at Fas Gas

RCMP search for suspect who cut through an outside wall to gain access

Operating Budget focuses significantly on community safety

Proposed 2% tax increase for operating budget, debate runs in January

UPDATE: Red Deer RCMP investigate non-suspicious death downtown

48 St. behind transit terminal was closed off earlier Wednesday

Team Canada dancer returns to Red Deer laden with medals

Red Deer dancer wins three silver medals and a bronze at World Championship

Local author releases brand new international thriller

Retired teacher Larry Stewart hosting a book launch this Saturday

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

What were Canadians were curious about: Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

Democrat wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset

Democrat Doug Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset against Roy Moore

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Researchers claim the ‘man flu’ does exist

Review of scientific studies suggests ‘man flu’ may be more intense: researcher

Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

Most Read