July 6, 2010 at 8:04pm
Here's a report on a new scientific study which shows how disturbed blood flow changes the vessel wall, due to inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. This study was done on arteries, but this principal would function the same way in a vein wall which is narrowed or blocked and blood flow becomes erratic due to refluxive flow.
"Scientists have previously observed that atherosclerosis occurs preferentially in branched or curved regions of arteries, because of the "disturbed flow" branches and curves create. Constant, regular flow of blood appears to promote healthy blood vessels, while low or erratic flow can lead to disease.
The standard laboratory model of atherosclerosis has scientists feeding a high-fat diet to mice with mutations in a gene (ApoE) involved in removing fat and cholesterol from the blood. Even then, atherosclerosis usually takes a few months to develop. In these models, clogs in a mouse's arteries tend to appear in certain places, such as the aortic arch, but flow patterns are set up at birth and thus are poor gauges of cause and effect, Jo says.
"We have developed a model where we disturb blood flow in the carotid artery by partial ligation, and atherosclerosis appears within two weeks," he says. "This rapid progression allows us to demonstrate cause and effect, and to examine the landmark events at the beginning of the process."
Jo says that endothelial cells, which form the inner lining of blood vessels, are equipped with sensors that detect changes in fluid flow.
"Disturbed flow is what causes the endothelial cells to become inflamed," he says"
So, how would this affect patients with CCSVI? If there is an area of the vein that is exposed to this disturbed flow, the lining of the vein will become worse, the longer the vein has this condition. Which might explain why MS continues to progress as patients age, even after there are no more inflammatory lesions in the brain, and the immune system seems to back down. The stenosis becomes worse and worse. Blood flow becomes more disturbed, and it creates a vicious cycle.
Here's the article--
This study might also explain why exercise and diet are so important in keeping blood flowing---
here, again, are the cardiovascular recommendations for living a heart healthy life. I honestly believe that pursuing endothelial health can help pwMS, as well. Always check with your doctor before beginning a new health routine.
***Eat a heart healthy diet! Lots of good leafy greens, fruits and veggies. Limit saturated fats (like red meat) and stick to lean, white meat protein. Fish is a terrific choice. Stay clear of man made fats and anything the has too many ingredients (like overly processed foods.) No fructose corn syrup or transfats. Eat a good, whole food diet- like the Best Bet Diet or Dr. Swank's MS Diet.
***Move as much as you are able. Exercise- whether it is a stationary bike, seated exercise, water aerobics or yoga- is good for your circulatory system and will keep blood flowing.
***Try to limit stress. Cortisol, the hormone released when we stress out, closes down blood vessels (called vasoconstriction) Prayer and meditation can really help. Laughter actually opens blood vessels up! Try to find joy everyday...with your children, pets, funny movies, good books.
***Alcohol is OK...but only small amounts. A glass of wine opens up blood vessels a bit...but any more than one drink becomes constrictive.
***Get some sun on your face. Vitamin D helps the body utilize oxygen and is a vasodilator. If you have no sun in your area, try a sun lamp and take a vitamin D supplement.
***No more smoking. Sorry. Cigarettes are vasoconstrictors- they close up blood vessels and can make stenosis worse.
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