Glasgow GP Dr Tom Gilhooly is at the forefront of an exciting new treatment for sufferers of MS. He comments ‘Scotland has the greatest incidence of Multiple Sclerosis in the world – and has more to gain than any other country from new developments such as CCSVI.’
CCSVI (Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency) is now an internationally recognised condition which has been found more commonly in MS patients. Gilhooly explains ‘We need more research to establish if treating CCSVI will improve outcomes in MS, but the theory does make sense. Leakage of iron from leaky veins could increase immune activity and contribute to breakdown of the blood brain barrier. Also MS lesions tend to occur round veins which makes sense if CCSVI is present. It’s early days, but this could be one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the early 21st century.’
Gilhooly has one of the largest MS private practices in the UK, based at the Essential Health Clinic in Glasgow. There are plans to open a similar centre in London and they are actively seeking to offer scanning services for CCSVI in both London and Glasgow at some point later in 2010.
Gilhooly continues ‘The beneficial impact of vitamin D, antioxidants and omega-3 also fit the CCSVI hypothesis, and could be used to alleviate the symptoms and treat MS. The Doppler ultra sound scan required to show the CCSVI abnormalities has been specially adapted and we hope to have an ultrasound technician fully trained later this summer.’
The cost of the scans in the UK is still to be finalised. Gilhooly and his team are also liaising with intervention radiologists to develop treatment centres around the UK.