caution larry

Hi, I’m Kim! This site provides a little insight to my journey of being diagnosised with Remitting Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis on October 26th 2004. I review books and documentaries, post MS-related news, and share my photos.

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Monday, November 23, 2009
Teenage Obesity and MS
I'm a bit behind on whats been happening in the news... but this one kinda stood out to me considering I was a bit of a chunky monkey growing up.

"Researchers have found that teenage obesity may make women more likely to develop multiple sclerosis later in life.

The study comes from the Harvard School of Public Health and tracks 40 years in the lives of 238,000 women. It found that the women who were obese at 18 years old were twice as likely to develop MS. The findings were published in the medical journal Neurology.

Out of the women studied, 593 developed the condition, which breaks down nerve fibers, causing neurological deterioration.

Oddly enough, neither obesity in childhood nor obesity in adulthood showed any correlation with the condition, according to the report.

“Our results suggest that weight during adolescence, rather than childhood or adulthood, is critical in determining the risk of MS,” study author Kassandra Munger, ScD, told BBC News. “There’s a lot of research supporting the idea that adolescence may be an important time for development of disease, so what we have found is consistent with that.”

According to BBC News, researchers believe that the connection between teen obesity and MS may have something to do with vitamin D levels. Some research has indicated that high levels of vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing MS. Fatty tissue, however, often reduces a person’s vitamin D levels.

“Teaching and practicing obesity prevention from the start - but especially during teenage years - may be an important step in reducing the risk of MS later in life for women,” Munger told the BBC."

MS Society of Canada announces request for research operating grants related to CCSVI & MS

That didn't take long! Go MS Society of Canada!

MS Society of Canada announces request for research operating grants related to CCSVI and MS

Toronto, ON – November 23, 2009 – The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada announced it will request research operating grants related to chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and MS.

A recent study released by Dr. Paulo Zamboni, University of Ferrara, Italy, describes CCSVI as a disruption of blood flow in which the venous system is not able to efficiently remove blood from the central nervous system resulting in increased pressure in the veins of the brain and spinal cord which in turn results in damage to these areas.

“These early results are encouraging and show that this warrants more study,” said Yves Savoie, MS Society President and CEO. “This is truly a new avenue to explore in MS research, and we want to be a part of furthering this investigation.”

The MS Society of Canada will issue an invitation for research operating grant proposals on CCSVI related to multiple sclerosis from qualified investigators based in Canadian institutions. Proposals will be evaluated for their scientific merit and relevance to the field of MS.

The competition will open on December 9, 2009, and the deadline for applications will be January 22, 2010.

“There has been tremendous interest and excitement about this study from people with MS, supporters, volunteers and staff across the country. While we acknowledge that the concept of CCSVI as a cause of MS needs to be replicated and validated in larger well-designed studies, the Society looks forward to contributing to this body of work,” said Savoie.

While excited about the potential of the CCSVI study, the findings are preliminary. Thus the MS Society advises that while further research is underway people follow their physician's recommendations and continue their current course of therapies.

Sunday, November 22, 2009
The CCSVI news
Okay, so I've spent all weekend going over all the info on The Liberation Treatment or CCSVI. I think the most profound thing I heard in the show on W5 was this. A woman said that all of a sudden she could feel her hands and her legs again. They worked again, but she could actually FEEL them again after having the treatment. The thought of that brings tears to my eyes. For a moment, just a moment, I put myself in her shoes. And I seriously cannot even fathom what that would have felt like. And really, I don't like to go there to be honest. I've spent a lot of heartache coming to terms with my MS and so until that should ever be an option for me to have that kind of release from it, I just can't go there. I want to. But that hope long ago faded with the acceptance of my life with MS. For life. So until those trials really progress to a point of making it a viable treatment option, I think I need to stay where I am. Taking my little Fingolimod pill every morning. But you can be certain, that if UBC gets CCSVI in the trail phase, I'll be the first to get my jugular vein scanned to see if I have the narrowing and the iron accumulating!!

*** Quick update if you want to participate in Dr. Haackes research. All guidelines for sending him your scan are posted here:

Saturday, November 21, 2009
W-Five tonight at 7 with new MS discovery - CCSVI
I'm being notified about this show tonight at 7PM on CTV will be on something big for MS. FYI!

And here's what its about:

Relief for patients

One of those patients was Buffalo resident Kevin Lipp. Lipp had MS for over a decade, and as part of the study, discovered he had five blocked veins in his neck. After undergoing the Liberation Treatment 10 months ago, he says he hasn't had a single new MS attack.

Zamboni emphasizes that the Liberation Treatment does not make people in wheelchairs walk again. Rather, it seems to stop the development of further MS attacks, and in some cases, improves movement and decreases the debilitating fatigue that are the hallmarks of MS.

The foundation that has sponsored Zamboni's research, the Hilarescere Foundation, also urges cautious restraint.

"We can't give the illusion to patients that this is a guaranteed treatment and it is easy. This is not right. And we have never done this," says Hilarescere President Fabio Roversi-Monaco. "We don't say this is a cure for M.S. We only say that research is advancing, and there is encouraging data but we are waiting for more conclusions."

Dr. Zivadinov in Buffalo is now starting a new study, recruiting 1,600 adults and 100 children, half of them MS patients. He plans to use ultrasound and MRI scans to confirm if those with MS also have CCSVI and if their family members have the abnormalities too.

Prof. Mark Haake, a neuro-imaging scientist at McMaster University and Wayne State University in Detroit is also intrigued by Zamboni's findings. He has long been seeing iron deposits in the brains of MS patients using a specialized MRI analysis called SWI - specific weighted imaging. When he saw Zamboni's initial publications, he immediately contacted the Italian doctor and began collaborating.

Population studies under way

Haake too is initiating a study, asking neurological centres across North America and Europe to take some extra MRI scans of the neck and upper chest of MS patients. The scans can then be electronically sent to his research team for analysis. He believes this grassroots approach could spur larger and more in depth studies. He's hoping he can engage MS specialists and vascular surgeons, interventional radiologist around the world to study the theory and then move to diagnosing and treating MS patients quickly.

"I think patients do play a role, because there are millions and millions of dollars donated to MS Societies and a lot of money set aside by the government to study MS research and right now, 99.9 per cent of that money goes somewhere else," he told W5.

"So the patients need to speak up and say 'We want something like this investigated, at least at an early stage, to see if there is credence to this theory.' Even if it is 10 or 20 per cent of these people who can be helped, that needs to be investigated," says Haacke.

Haake's research is being done with no funding; he's unwilling to wait the nine months to a year needed to get formal research funding applications approved. Urgency, he says, is needed in finding the answer to the question of whether Dr. Zamboni is right.

"Certainly, I continue my battle because I am fully convinced that this is the right thing for the patient," he says.

The MS Societies of Canada and the U.S. are reticent to support Zamboni's theories. They maintain that: "Based on results published about these findings to date, there is not enough evidence to say that obstruction of veins causes MS... It is still not clear whether relieving venous obstructions would be beneficial."

Interest in CCSVI growing

But CCSVI has become a subject of intense interest among MS patients who are texting and emailing details of Zamboni's work, locating the few centres around the world that have started to work on studies on CCSVI and the Liberation Treatment.

Zamboni says every day, MS patients hear about his theory and either write, email or call him asking for treatment he can't yet provide. Still, some surgeons in the U.S. are now offering the surgery Zamboni's team has pioneered.

Jeff Beal, an L.A-based, Emmy-Award-winning musical director has already paid to have the surgery procedure. After he was diagnosed with MS five years ago, he was left unable to work a full day and worrying he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Unable to come to terms with the diagnosis, his wife, Joan, set to find new treatments and eventually came upon Zamboni's work. Unable to get her husband treated in Italy, she convinced a Californian vascular surgeon who already performs similar surgery on leg veins to look at Zamboni's work and test Jeff for CCSVI. Jeff was diagnosed with two blocked jugular veins and treated with the Liberation Treatment. (with a slightly different procedure than the italan one..using Stents) He now says he has much more energy and none of the chronic fatigue that used to limit his activity.

"I reached what I would call sort of a higher plateau, in the sense of the most debilitating symptom, which is the fatigue. So, I still have fatigue every day, I still battle it; it's still one of my symptoms. But in terms of the total reservoir of energy, it's much greater than it used to be. And that's a huge gift, especially to my family," Beal told W5.

His wife Joan was delighted with the surgery's results.

"Suddenly, he's helping Henry with his homework and he's playing trumpet duets with Henry and he's awake. And there's this presence in the house that hadn't been there for two years," she said.

Joan has now become a "cheerleader" of Zamboni's work on MS chat sites, urging other patients to show their neurologists the material being published by the Italian team and to ask them to consider setting up a study in other MS clinics.

Among all of Zamboni's success stories and the patients who sing his praises is his wife Elena. Her MS caused her to lose her vision for a time and develop what she called "violent" attacks. She had difficulty walking and was losing her balance and feared a life in a wheelchair unable to care for herself. Elena became one of her husband's first ultrasound test patients and was found to have a complete closure of the azygos vein in her central chest. She was one of the first to be liberated almost three years ago. After having regular debilitating MS attacks for nearly a decade before, Elena has been symptom-free ever since. An elegant, intelligent woman, she now has a quick walk, with no sign of disability. Her husband couldn't be happier.

"What I think is this is probably the best prize of the research," says Zamboni.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
5 years ago...
Well, I didn't post it here, but I did a little solitary celebration on my own. October 26th was my 5 year anniversary since being diagnosed! 5 years people!! How did 5 years just go by!?

When I think about my life back then and what it was like living with double vision and all the other unhealthy ways I was living, I'm certainly glad to be where I am today! I may not have double vision anymore (or any lasting eye issues from it) but I do know my MS is different 5 years later. I have a little more numbness in my lower legs. My muscles on my right side still have repaired fully from my last attack so who knows if this is the new me in that regard. And my fatigue level is just... different. A little more pronounced?

But ultimately, I feel far healthier regardless! I feel physically well overall and maybe thats because I have been able to put myself first in my life and stop when I need to and ask for help when I should. Okay, not always, but in a much more balanced way now. I guess its just a part of acceptance of my disease in my body and that it's here to stay. I could resent it, but I choose to embrace it instead. It's a much happier life that way for me.

One more move!

Just a quick update... you can still reach me at I have moved the site officially to blogspot and that direct link is Http://