There are a few MS physicians that have made a name for themselves for the drugs they help developed or the books they wrote.  Others are more notorious for the controversies they started than for the research they actually did.  Of this group of Multiple Sclerosis physicians, perhaps the most well known that is still alive is Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon and professor from the University of Ferrara, Italy.  Unlike some physicians that intentionally enter the medical profession with the intent of working with or researching Multiple Sclerosis, physicians like Dr. Zamboni gain their notoriety accidently.


Some MS physicians study the disease out of a personal involvement


This was the case with Dr. Zamboni.  His wife Elena Ravalli was diagnosed with MS when she was 37 years old in 1995.  A vascular surgeon at the time, by his own admission it was the love for his wife that led him down the path to alternative treatments for Multiple Sclerosis.  Physicians are his harshest critics.  Dr. Zamboni started an enormous controversy and heated debate when he revealed his theory that the disease is caused by the narrowing of the veins in the neck.  He named the condition chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI).  He theorizes that the restriction caused from this narrowing causes the blood draining from the brain to get backed up.  The backing up, he claims, creates iron deposits that sets off an inflammation of the brain that is the key to MS.  Physicians in the field of MS research scoff at the idea, but MS patients travel the globe to receive his version of angioplasty, where a tiny balloon is inserted into the vein and inflated to open up the vein.  While doctors warn their patients against it, the doctor has published studies suggesting that it works.  And the mounds of testimonials from patients suggest there is no shortage of patients that agree with him.  It should be noted that  the balloon inflation, or angioplasty, is routinely done in arteries.  Doctor Zamboni uses the procedure in the veins of patients with Multiple Sclerosis.  Physicians say the procedure is risky and there sre no clinically controlled trials to back up the claims.


Is Dr. Zamboni’s work a labor of love or motivated by profit potential?


The furious debate was ratcheted up when the Italian physician applied for patents to protect his discoveries before they became known to the public at large, and before any proof they work.  He is working closely with a company to market an MS ultrasound machine built under his guidance and to his specifications.  The doctor claims big pharmaceutical companies are threatened and are attempting to shut him down before he takes away much of their billions in revenues from the MS drug market worldwide.

MS scientists say the procedure is dangerous and unproven and that if he were really motivated to treat the disease, he would have disclosed his patent applications much earlier.  At least three of Dr. Zamboni’s MS papers list competing conflict of interests as “none”.  This was before it was discovered that he had applied for patents.

Most doctors warn their patients that they risk unknown danger, and point out that there has been a death of a man undergoing the treatment, widely known as “Liberation” treatment in Costa Rica.  If you are a patient looking to treat your MS, physicians will likely advise against Liberation treatment.  It is illegal in North America but can be had in some countries around the world.