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Last Friday night, January 29, my wife and I attended a small fundraising party for the University at Buffalo's ongoing CCSVI imaging study, which is attempting to determine if there is a clear correlation between the vascular abnormalities now known as CCSVI and Multiple Sclerosis.
The party was the first of what is hoped to be many such events held around the country, raising funds to expand the study from the 500 subjects that have already been imaged to the desired total of 1700 subjects. The study is single blinded, meaning that the researchers reading the MRV and Doppler imaging results don't know if the person imaged had MS or was a healthy test subject. This blinding ensures that no unintended bias on the part of the researchers can skew the results of the study.
The fundraiser, which was held in the Manhattan restaurant O'Neal's, was a great chance to meet and greet like-minded individuals who are hopeful that CCSVI will prove to be an important discovery in the quest to unravel the mystery that is MS. Hosted by Eric C. Alcott (Development Officer, UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences) and his lovely wife Deborah, over a dozen supporters attended the event, and much interesting information and lively banter was exchanged. Hell, I'll go so far as to say the thing was actually fun, and I didn't even have to make good on my threat to run over the feet of anybody who went light on their donations. Guess I'll have to vent my kamikaze urges on some unsuspecting pedestrian on the street later this week.
The initial results from the first 500 patients studied are due to be released sometime within the next two weeks, and although nothing specific was divulged, it was hinted that we would very likely be encouraged by the results that will soon be disclosed.
If you'd like to help the continuation of the study with a donation, be on the lookout for fundraising parties near you, or, better yet, donate the whizbang 21st century way, directly from BNAC website.