382218 tn?1341181487

Premiers to debate MS treatment

http:// www. cbc .ca/ health/story/2010/08/02/pei-ms-treatment-584.html

Premiers to debate MS treatment
Leaders differ on approach to 'liberation therapy'

An experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis will be discussed at a meeting of Canada's premiers this week, P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz said.

P.E.I. Premier Robert Ghiz said he has heard Islanders' calls to investigate an experimental treatment for MS. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)
Ghiz said he was open to considering adding so-called liberation therapy to the list of insured provincial health services.

Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter rejected calls for changes in the near future.

Canada's 13 provincial and territorial premiers are scheduled to meet in Winnipeg starting Thursday to discuss Canada's economic recovery, as well as water issues and health care.

The MS treatment is based research by Italian physician Paolo Zamboni that suggests iron buildup in the brain, due to blocked veins in the neck or spinal cord, might be to blame for the condition.

Some Canadian MS patients have travelled out of the country to pay for treatments that clear blockages in their veins.

Clinics in Poland, Bulgaria and India are opening blockages for patients who have flocked from Canada and other countries in the last few months.

Brad Wall, Saskatchewan's premier, has said his province will pay for clinical trials. He hopes to convince other premiers to do the same at the premiers meeting.

Online petition
Ghiz said he has heard requests and concerns on the issue from a number of Islanders, including an eastern P.E.I. man who started an online petition last week calling for coverage.

"There has been some individual lobbying here in the province of Prince Edward Island, so this is something that I'm going to be talking to Premier Wall about and see where he is," Ghiz said.

"I think we have to work with the federal government when it comes to these clinical trials and getting them done as soon as possible."

But Dexter repeated his position that Nova Scotia will not fund trials of the proposed therapy for MS because it is unproven.

He said that because Saskatchewan has announced it will carry out trials, Nova Scotia doesn't have to repeat the work.

The provincial government will not financially support Nova Scotians who travel abroad to get the treatment, either.

"You could imagine what would happen if you were to make a decision to support something that is not an approved procedure and then something would go wrong, and of course people would come to you and ask why you made that decision," he said.

"So, I think the prudent thing for us to do, of course, is to rely on the best possible medical evidence and to make sure that our decisions are made on the basis of the best evidence."

Dexter said Nova Scotia will decide what to do about the treatment once the trials in Saskatchewan are complete.

The causes of multiple sclerosis, a nerve-wrecking condition results in painful spasms and loss of muscle control, are poorly understood. Current theories point to genetics, immune system problems and viral infections.

6 Responses
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1253197 tn?1331209110
Interesting post..so thanks for this..you are very good at finding informative leads!
Sounds like more research is needed on this.

Sarah xxx
Helpful - 0
1386048 tn?1281012333
oooo...i'm a cbc junkie (radio) and can't believe i missed this yesterday!  thanks very much, such an interesting story developing here.
Helpful - 0
293157 tn?1285873439
thanks for the info..  I sure wish we could hear some feedback from all the people that are getting this procedure done in other countries... How do they feel now?  Did it help?  

maybe I'm missing something somewhere, but I don't seem to hear from them?  Where would we get this information from...the results of the procedures?

anyone know?
Helpful - 0
1386048 tn?1281012333
cbc news television had a wonderful documentary piece (20 mins or so at the end of news cast) about a women who travelled there to get the procedure done.  the story aired only a week after her treatment, but almost instantly her gait had improved and the reporter said that she continued to show advances as the week progressed.  let me see if i can find a link to that story online...
Helpful - 0
1386048 tn?1281012333

here is one link, btw, if you are not canadian, the cbc is a highly respected (not at all trashy) resource.
Helpful - 0
1386048 tn?1281012333

and the initial link when the story first broke.  
Helpful - 0
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