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Iron deposition in MS marker of disease progression
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Iron deposition in MS marker of disease progression

Some very interesting news coming down the pipeline...

This is a complicated article, and Cheerleader over at thisisms does a better job of explaining it than I will.  

http  ://www.thisisms.com/ftopict-8185.html  (take out the spaces when you copy it into your browser.)

Basically what the article says is that iron deposition is a marker of progression in multiple sclerosis, not the number of lesions.  This is logical, as there are MS patients with lots of lesions and minimal progression, and there are others with just a few lesions, and moderate to severe progression.  

Susceptibility Weighted MRI, or SWI-MRI  offers "information about any tissue that has a different susceptibility than its surrounding structures such as deoxygenated blood, hemosiderin, ferritin, and calcium. "  Deposits such as iron will have a different magnetic field than other minerals in the brain, and will respond differently.

This is a fascinating new study, although the article itself is very technical!  

http://www.ajnr.org/cgi/content/full/30/1/19
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572651_tn?1333939396
from
http://www.ajnr.org/cgi/content/full/30/1/19

"Many of the ideas relating to iron quantification remain to be validated in animal models and further tested longitudinally in patients. "

so this also tells us that this idea is a long way from being proven.  It is interesting .....

there is so much new research going on in all different directions something positive has to turn up soon, you would think.

be well,
Lulu
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This research is linked to the CCSVI theory - that blood is backing up into the brain, causing lesion formation and breaking the blood-brain barrier.  If blood is backing up, this would lead to iron deposition.  

The CCSVI theory is backed up by research saying that 100% of MS patients have blocked veins in the neck - the ones that drain blood from the brain.  With them blocked, the blood has nowhere to go except back into the brain
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Avatar_m_tn
You have to be careful, because I think some erroneous conclusions were reached from these articles.  These articles do not say definitely how the iron got into the brain:

"The source of iron deposition may be myelin/oligodendrocyte debris (17), concentrated iron in the macrophages (that phagocytize the destructed myelin/oligodendrocyte), or the product of hemorrhages from damaged brain vessels. The mechanism of direct damage to the brain by iron might be related to oxidative stress and the generation of toxic free radicals (12)."

Leakage from the blood is only one stated possibility.  More importantly, the purpose of these studies was to show that the SWI MRI could detect iron in the brain.  Unless I missed it, no where in the articles did the authors correlate MS disability with the amount of iron in the brain.

Finally the authors state that the amount of iron in the brain MAY serve as a biomarker for MS.  This is a far cry from being a definite thing, and making other MRI sequences obsolete.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, this article is linked to the CCSVI theory - that blocked jugular veins are causing blood to reflux back into the brain.  This would cause iron deposits in the lesions, which is one thing that the SWI MRI research is showing.

I don't think these guys are trying to say anything yet about how the blood got into the brain - they're leaving that for further research.  It sounds to me as if they don't want to draw any conclusions, yet!

The conclusions I mentioned were proposed by a forum member from thisisms - check out the link, and you'll see what I mean...
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm pretty familiar with the CCSVI theory.  And I visit TIMS pretty regularly.

That was the point I was trying to make.  I don't think the authors of this study drew any unwarranted conclusions.  But the conclusions of the forum member you mentioned just weren't supported by these papers.

Still, I think the CCSVI theory for MS holds promise.  But I think claims are starting to be made that are setting up unrealistic expectations.
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Bear with me because this is all pretty new to me - I have a question.  If this relates to blood backing up into the brain and leaving lead deposits, how does that relate to the spinal lesions that many ms patients also have (or sometimes only have)?

As for claims - all too often this happens in medical science - initial studies release data and then later just disappear off the radar screen because they don't pass further tests.  I would like to see the CCSVI theory get to the next round of being proven  ... in fact  I would like any theories to get to the next round.

as always,
L
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338416_tn?1260996698
I agree with you - the forum member is drawing some conclusions from the data presented, that aren't necessarily fact-based.  You had pointed out some links to the Zamboni research earlier, didn't you?  Sorry, I must be getting ahead of myself!

Lulu, I think that the Zamboni papers talk about the jugulars causing spinal lesions as well as brain lesions, but I'm not sure.  The good part about all this is that Dr. Frohman over at UTSW attended the conference in Bologna, and brought the data back to Texas.
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Avatar_m_tn
Jen:  No problem.  These MRI studies are interesting, nonetheless.

LuLu: Part of the jugular veins run along the cervical spinal cord.  Also, Zamboni reported finding occlusions or stenoses in the azygous vein, which runs along the spinal cord.  The idea behind CCSVI (and I'm not trying to say it's right or wrong) is that stenosis in the veins causes the blood to reflux and this sets up an inflammatory condition and leads to a breakdown of the venous wall.  But the reflux wouldn't just be limited to the brain.  The problem could be low enough in the jugular veins, or in the azygous, and affect the spinal cord.  Also, lead isn't really implicated in this.

Your point is a good one, though, and it doesn't happen just in medical science.  One example someone recalled is cold fusion.
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This is all very interesting
by peastalker, less than a minute ago
Two days before I had my first ever symptom of MS -Optic neuritis, I clearly remember turning my head to the right to back out of my drive and felt the most strange pain in my jugular. It stopped me cold for a second and then went away. I felt off for the day and then my eye started to turn out, by day 2 I no control of my vision and my eye completley rolled off to the side of my head. I went to my doctor and he had me admitted immediatley to the hospital. The suspected a stoke. test came back fine. After a week in there, they tested me for everything from aids to lupus to MS. My MRIs showed lesions on my optic nerves and spinal tab had bands. EVP positive. My life changed forever, I had been diagnosed with MS in less then a month. Anyways, My iron levels at the time where way out of wack (previous post in detail with Quix) and the Dr's had no idea if it corralated. I have always maintained that it did, but I am no doctor. Just my story. Thank for the great article
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