Interest in a mechanical cause of MS has sky-rocketed since Zamboni proposed a blockage to venous blood leaving the brain in 2009.
Now Dr Raymond Damadian, the original inventor of the MRI, today used to scan and diagnose MS, has discovered something unexpected, but rather similar to Zamboni's theories.
In a study published in the journal Physiological Chemistry and Physics and Medical Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Damadian and David Chu scanned eight people with MS in their newly invented upright MRI machine. They showed the surprising finding that a number of the MS lesions in these people communicated with the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles (cavities) within the brain, around which most MS lesions usually form.
They hypothesised that CSF leaks into the brain surrounding the ventricles, possibly due to blockages related to old trauma to the neck, might be involved in the causation of MS. They further suggested a link with Zamboni's theories, and that Zamboni's proposed angioplasty (dilating the veins of the neck) might be operating to improve MS by relieving these blockages and improving CSF flow.
This new theory needs exploration urgently to investigate this possibility on a larger sample of people with MS.