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Zamboni Revisited

Not That Zamboni

A few months back, I wrote a little post about some of the inspirational and hopeful events from 2009. Ok, so maybe “Cello Scrotum” (see Baroness Elaine Murphy ) had nothing to do with inspiration or hope. What did fall into the hopeful category was Dr. Paolo Zamboni’s treatment for MS sufferers. Since he’s in the news again, I felt it was worthwhile revisiting.

If you haven’t heard about Dr. Zamboni, he’s been shaking up the medical community with a procedure that claims to alleviate the debilitating symptoms that plague people with Multiple Sclerosis. Long story short, MS was mostly thought to be an auto-immune disease. Zamboni’s findings claim that it’s a vascular disease, which means that the symptoms are a result of blocked arteries. Unblocking those arteries through a procedure similar to an angioplasty alleviates the symptoms. He calls this the “liberation procedure”.

I’m bringing this up now because the procedure and buzz around it is picking up speed. On April 14th, there’s a live Web Forum happening. Dr. Zamboni is on the panel, and if you’re interested in listening to it, you can register here. If you miss it, you can still watch it there afterwards.

My point here is, is that word of Dr. Zamboni’s work is spreading and more people are taking note. In North America, MS Societies are urging caution, and to continue with MS drug regimens. I’ve said it before, but my cynical side doesn’t trust the pharmaceuticals in the least. They make a lot of money off of major diseases and for a lot of people with MS, the drugs don’t help and the pain gets worse. The procedure isn’t offered in Canada because more research is needed (I think it’s offered in the U.S.), even though the success rates appear to be high. At least institutions are taking notice, and people with MS are getting ultrasounds to see if their arteries are in the same narrowed state as in patients that Zamboni has treated.

Many people want the procedure now and let research catch up to them later. You can check out the story here about two brothers traveling to Poland and shelling out $10,000 each for the procedure. That’s just how badly they want to be relieved of the symptoms. At the risk of sounding cynical once again, there will be opportunists preying on desperate MS patients. Still, my hopeful side tries very hard to believe that doctors really do want to help.

Long story short, Zamboni sounds like he’s on to something, but he has many opponents. Yet, successful treatments have left patients in remission for as long as three years. It’s not a permanent fix, but it sounds like solid treatment. I say if the procedure can help MS sufferers, even for 1 pain free day, I’m all for it.

m.

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Incredibly, cheese was not mentioned once in this post. Fear not! We have some Cheese News and Cheese Reviews coming up in the next couple of days.

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