Neurology Community
Venous Insufficiency causing MS/parkinsons/dementia and more?
About This Community:

This forum is for questions and support regarding neurology issues such as: Alzheimer's Disease, ALS, Autism, Brain Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Headaches, MS, Neuralgia, Neuropathy, Parkinson's Disease, RSD, Sleep Disorders, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.

Font Size:
Blank Blank

Venous Insufficiency causing MS/parkinsons/dementia and more?

I was just wondering if anyone knew why more and more doctors arent checking for venous insufficiency when people are having neurological symptoms?  Even if i google venous insufficiency there is very little information about it and very little people who have posted experience in having been diagnosed with it. If people arent having an adequate amount of blood going to their brain it can cause some serious damage and i dont know why this is often overlooked in diseases. Ever since the "contriversial" CCSVI and MS thing started that is almost the only information to be found about blockages in neck veins/arteries online, however, it seems that before the CCSVI "contriversy" that no one had even been checking these veins. (Which I dont even understand what is contriversial about an angioplasty of a blocked vein? ) If there is blockages in veins in the neck it can cause a whole host of neurological problems and im wondering why more people arent checking...has anyone had experience with having blocked veins/arteries in their neck in particular? Is there an adequate way to check for it because i heard it can be a strenuous find if there is one.
Related Discussions
3 Comments Post a Comment
Hi,It is relatively easy to detect blockage of neck arteries by dentists using panoramic dental Xray.On your next appointment ask your dentist to show you calcification of your neck artery.
There is a test which I had. It is a doppler ultrasound test which shows any blockage or constriction. It's pretty cool cause you can actually watch everything on screen.
The good news,,, my test turned out fine. The bad news, I still have idiopathic polyneuropathy. Lightning bolt shocks in my R. toes today. Symptoms rotate from one area to another all the time.

To understand this at all you need to know that there is a HUGE difference between arteries and veins.  They are both tubular and carry blood.  Other than that, their structure and function vary quite a bit.

Arteries carry oxygen rich blood TO organs.  Veins carry oxygen depleted blood AWAY from organs and back toward the heart.  The one exception involves the vessels that transport the body's blood between the heart and lungs.

Therefore, blocked veins DO NOT prevent anyone from getting enough blood to their brain (or any other organ).  Venous insufficiency refers to conditions that make it difficult to return blood to the heart.  It occurs most often in the legs because leg veins move a large volume of blood a long distance (all the way from the feet to the heart) and have to work against gravity besides.  When there is a problem it is because blood slows down or backs up.  (Take a look at Grandma's legs.  Her veins are as tired as she is.  They took semi-retirement years ago and can't get the job done so they either swell into crooked blue rivers running along her gams or leak fluid into the tissue until her ankles overflow her shoes.)

My guess is that doctors don't routinely look for venous blood flow problems to explain neurological symptoms because any potential link between the two is still in the investigational stage.  Researchers are the ones ordering scans right now to gather information and, hopefully, link that information to specific diagnoses and treatments in the future.  Until then, vascular scanning for neuro symptoms in a clinical setting isn't likely to become routine.  Doctors seldom order (and insurance plans seldom approve) expensive tests until the results have enough meaning to impact outcome.

Angioplasty has evolved into a wonderful everyday surgeon's tool.  It’s no wonder we think nothing of asking blood vessels to make room for us to snake catheters and balloons through them and still expect they will function as usual throughout the invasion.  Frequent use and safety improvements considered, angioplasty remains an invasive procedure that carries risk for a number of serious complications (including death).  It's not a let's-give-it-a-try-and-see-how-it-goes type of treatment.  Doctor and patient need to agree there is reason to expect the benefits will be great enough and last long enough to outweigh the risks.

The controversy isn’t about angioplasty of veins in general.  It’s about the procedures and the consequences and expectations attached when the procedure is used to treat this one specific disease.  There is little factual information or scientific evidence available to link CCSVI and MS, to suggest surgical treatment would help, or to evaluate risks against benefits.  As much as any of us might be tempted to rush forward, there just isn't enough information to guess which way the balance will tip regarding the use of angioplasty to treat MS symptoms.  

I’m not sure about angioplasty to treat the other diseases you mentioned but if people with those diseases benefit from something that wasn’t even on the treatment research radar of their disease a year ago…. Well, I would think they could handle a little bickering.

I believe any controversy that exists was created when CCSVI information was presented prematurely and in a sensational manner to people with MS who are wait weary after years of desperate longing to be well.  They have seen little reward for holding on to repeated promises that research breakthroughs are "very close".  Long silences have left people short on tangible hope.  When media outlets flooded the world with unrestrained reports of successful surgical intervention trials, people were ready to allow their hopes to soar.  

Time passed.  Questions were asked.  Complications were revealed.  Answers are slow.  Issues are complex.  Some people wait easily.  Others don't.  A few people manage to have the procedure and therefore, the opportunity to exchange hope for truth.  The reality of the present moment is that very few people who are interested in testing for CCSVI or trying interventional angioplasty have access to actually receive those services (insured or not).  

So the media rush to deliver the latest and greatest miracle in its rawest form has left many people with MS hovering over the shoulder of researchers.  This does nothing to speed the process and possibilities without access begins to feel like the old waiting game of wondering which will come first, healing or disability.  I think the controversy you’ve noticed is hope that doesn’t want to return to fear or can't co-exist with it.

I know there are people condemning anyone and any organization that doesn’t support a full bore rush toward this MS "cure".  I have even heard the call for caution claimed as proof the medical community doesn't WANT people to get well.  Are they kidding me?!?!  Have you tried to get an appointment lately?  I'll give you that some health care providers seem locked into a build-the-biggest-business war.  That's appalling to me but it's a very different issue.  I hear lots of claims that docs don’t like to deal with patients who have neuro symptoms.  What better way to send us packing than with a cure?  Eliminating a disease here and there isn’t going to change the depth in the pool of health care consumers.  No problem even if it did.  That would just make more room for "treating" healthy people and preventing disease, right?

Sorry if this ended up being TMI for you.  When I came across your topic I noticed some assumptions begging for clarification as well as your interesting questions.  I hope you have answers for yourself by now but left a response because these subjects tend to resurface from time to time.
Post a Comment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Neurology Community Resources
Top Neurology Answerers
Allentown, PA
Fort Worth, TX
Chandler, AZ