The following videos were posted to YouTube by MS patient named Denise. I don't have much information about her, and I don't know where her procedure was done, or if balloon angioplasty or stents were used. Upon watching these videos, though, the results speak for themselves. If you are unfamiliar with CCSVI or the Liberation Procedure, please click here.
Here's the video taken a few days before the patient underwent the Liberation Procedure:
And here's the video taken less than 24 hours after her procedure:
Obviously, the improvements depicted are startling. I've been in touch with many patients who have undergone the procedure, both on the Internet and in person, and although many have reported improvements in their condition, this is one of the most dramatic cases I've seen/heard of.
It's hard to know what to make of these results. I don't think the patient in the videos above was "faking". Of course, I've no proof of that, but it would be a hell of an acting job if she was playing make-believe.
Naturally, it's thrilling to see such improvement, and I certainly wish that my procedure had gone as well (click here for info on my Liberation Procedure). From a scientific and medical standpoint, though, it's difficult to understand the mechanism behind the improvements depicted in the videos.
Certainly, less than 24 hours after the procedure, the reversal of nerve damage could not account for such a fast turnaround of symptoms. Nerve cells simply don't heal that quickly, and if damaged enough, they do not heal at all. I think it's safe to rule out nerve regeneration as being responsible for the improvements seen above.
The only other explanation I can come up with is that the opening of the patient's jugular vein had a remarkable anti-inflammatory effect on her CNS, which would mean that most of her problems were caused by inflammation, rather than actual nerve damage. Steroids are given to MS patients because of their powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and in some patients the beneficial action of steroids can be quite rapid, but not nearly as fast or as powerful as those that we see in the above videos. It generally takes cells at least a few days to recover from inflammation, so this solution too is problematic.
Dr. Sclafani, who did my procedure, reports that some of his other Liberation Procedure patients displayed surprising improvements soon after the procedure, but that in many cases these improvements were short-lived. Dr. Sclafani's sample size is small, though, so not much can really be read into them.
Whatever the reasons for the startling results seen in Denise's videos, I certainly hope she has lasting benefits, and continued improvement in her condition. As more and more research gets done on CCSVI, answers to the many questions surrounding the theory should start coming in.
Full-scale trials of the Liberation Procedure will be getting started this summer, and recently the government of Kuwait announced that all Kuwaiti MS patients will undergo the procedure, paid for by the state-funded medical system (click here for info). Kuwait has some 5000 MS patients, and it's expected that 10 patients per week will be getting "liberated".
Within several months, we should start getting some hard data regarding the effectiveness of treatment and the validity of CCSVI. For hundreds of thousands of MS patients, this data cannot come too soon...
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Wheelchair Kamikaze reader (and good friend) Bestadmom posted an alarming update on Denise's condition, which deteriorated about a week after her procedure. I'll include a brief summary of what happened here, and you can read a full account of the problems Denise encountered (in her own words) by clicking on the comments link, below, and reading Bestadmom's very informative post.
In a nutshell, Denise's condition reverted back to her "pre-liberation" days, with a sudden onset of her old symptoms. A return trip to the hospital where she had her liberation done showed that the stents that had originally been implanted during her procedure had restenosed and had to be removed (I was not previously aware that stents could be removed). A new set of stents was put in place (based on her account, it seems that four new stents in total were implanted), and the situation must have been dicey, since a neurosurgical team was put on standby.
The second procedure seems to have been pretty rough on Denise, but she is reporting that her symptoms do appear to be resolving once again.
Denise's experience is an enlightening example of both the promise and perils of the current CCSVI situation. Clearly, CCSVI offers the MS population real reason for hope, but the study of CCSVI, and its treatment, are still in their infancies. Techniques and materials need to be refined and developed specifically for the purpose of intervening in the array of venous blockages that have come to be known as CCSVI. This can only happen under the auspices of scientifically valid trials, whose progress can seem agonizingly slow for a patient suffering from progressive and debilitating neurologic disease.
Discretion is often the better part of valor, and it's very easy to allow hope to eclipse reason when one is staring at the dark at the end of the tunnel. Each of us needs to make their own determination of their tolerance for risk, but as more and more is learned about CCSVI, and its treatment, the risk profile associated with CCSVI should decline considerably. As previously stated, the next 6 to 12 months should be very telling.