Chronic Cerebro-Spinal Venous Insufficiency & Autism
By Nicole Wallace
The hypothesis of vascular abnormalities in multiple sclerosis has been around for years but only recently has a doctor in Italy begun taking the research to a new level of actually testing and treating MS patients. Paulo Zamboni M.D., a vascular surgeon from Sardinia, Italy, coined the term “chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency” or CCSVI in MS patients. CCSVI is a narrowing of the jugular or vertebral veins that restricts the normal outflow of deoxygenated blood from the brain and spinal cord to the heart. CCSVI can result in iron deposits in the brain which can lead to autoimmunity.
To date the majority of the studies and information about CCSVI are linked to multiple sclerosis. But Dietrich Klinghardt M.D. PhD, and others have suggested that CCSVI is likely an issue in most children with autism as well. According to Klinghardt, perfusion or venous blood flow of the brain may be reduced by 70% in children with autism so that the brain is unable to develop properly. A diagnosis for CCSVI includes up to 5 criteria including reflux or stenosis in the internal jugular or vertebral veins or reflex in deep cerebral veins. More details can be found here: www.ccsvi.org. Dr. Klinghardt claims the autistic children he has tested often have all 5 criteria whereas his MS, ALS, and Lyme patients may have 2 or 3 of the criteria.
CCSVI is diagnosed via a high resolution ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Venography or catheter venography. In a study in the DFW area, CCSVI can be evaluated through the use of Doppler ultrasound for about $1200. But a less expensive screening using thermography of the head and neck can determine if veins may be inflamed. If the thermogram suggests inflammation or blockage then a Doppler ultrasound with equipment designed to examine blood flow of the veins that drain blood from the brain is used to diagnose CCSVI.
The treatment used in MS patients dubbed the “liberation technique” involves angioplasty of the stenosed or blocked veins. Angioplasty is a procedure to widen a narrowed section of a vein or artery. A large vein in the groin is punctured and a catheter is used to access the site of the stenosis. At the site of the stenosis a balloon is inflated and sometimes a stent is used to keep the vessel open. To my knowledge, this type of treatment is not being done on children with autism in the US. In some cases when angioplasty was used in the MS patients the veins become blocked again. It is theorized the veins may have became restenosed because of chronic pathogens in the MS patients.
Dr. Klinghardt believes treating infections, detoxing, and reducing electromagnetic fields are key interventions that must be done before more invasive procedures are considered. Treatment for CCSVI in children with autism may include eradicating biofilms, downregulating the immune response, opening circulation and neural therapy. Herbs can kill pathogens and bee venom ointment can be used to open circulation. Oral oxytocin is said to reduce the reflux of blood draining from the brain and may also be part of the treatment. Read more about these therapies HERE.
Nicole Wallace is a wife and mother of two children, one with ASD.