Welcome! This blog contains research & information on lifestyle, nutrition and health for those with MS, as well as continuing information on the understanding of the endothelium and heart-brain connection. This blog is informative only--all medical decisions should be discussed with your own physicians.

The posts are searchable---simply type in your topic of interest in the search box at the top left.

Almost all of MS research is initiated and funded by pharmaceutical companies. This maintains the EAE mouse model and the auto-immune paradigm of MS, and continues the 20 billion dollar a year MS treatment industry. But as we learn more about slowed blood flow, gray matter atrophy, and environmental links to MS progression and disability--all things the current drugs do not address--we're discovering more about how to help those with MS.

To learn how this journey began, read my first post from August, 2009. Be well! Joan

Monday, December 22, 2014

From cells to space stations--vascular research continues

While astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti works high above our planet on the International Space Station---studying venous return in microgravity and utilizing Dr. Paolo Zamboni's technologies----cellular biologists are looking at the MS brain. The macrocosm and the microcosm of MS vascular research is happening right now!

New technologies are allowing researchers to view the MS brain at a cellular level, before formation of lesions.  I wanted to share three of these new papers, all published in the last month.

Please note that the researchers are cellular biologists---they are looking at the MS brain on the most basic level, and they all see the vascular links to the disease.  They are not studying MS to find out how immune modulating drugs work, they are trying to solve the mystery of what causes MS.  And they are all seeing a connection to blood flow and the blood brain barrier.

When neurologists tell you CCSVI research is over, please point them to the continuing, confirming research which is further elucidating the vascular connection to MS. 

If NASA can work directly with Dr. Paolo Zamboni, why won't neurologists?
NASA wants to understand why 20% of their astronauts are coming back to earth with neurological and visual issues, and how it's related to blood flow.  So, they went to the expert.

Here are the brand new papers, all finding a link to MS and blood flow.

1.  The Role of Angiogenesis in the Pathology of MS

Cell biologists from the University of Irvine have noted how the loss of endothelial tight junctions in the blood brain barrier contributes to inflammation and angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels) in the MS brain,  and how this process is initiated by hypoxia.  This low oxygen state and resultant angiogenesis occurs prior to formation of demyelinating lesions.

This cellular research is further defining the hypothesis of cellular biologist Dr. Bernhard Juurlink, made in the 1990s.

It also fits in with my hypothesis of MS as a disease of hypoperfusion/reperfusion injury.

2. In vitro study of the direct effect of extracellular hemoglobin on myelin components.

The cellular biologists from the University of Guelph are looking at how blood particles damage myelin.  They are seeing microscopic deposits of hemoglobin in the MS brain, around the veins.  This blood contains iron, which when deposited into delicate brain tissue, begins a process of oxidative stress.
"This study provides new insight into the mechanism by which hemoglobin exerts its pathological oxidative activity towards myelin components. This work supports further research into the vascular pathology in MS, to gain insight into the origin and role of iron deposits in disease pathogenesis, or in stimulation of different comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease."
This work confirms the theory of Dr. Zamboni from 2006, called his "Big Idea" theory, which saw the similarities of venous disease to MS, by noting how blood particles caused damage to tissue via the iron found in our red blood cells.   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1633548/

3.  Focal disturbances in the blood brain barrier are associated with formation of neuroinflammatory lesions

Neurobiologists from the University of Montreal are seeing changes to the blood brain barrier which happen before immune cells enter the MS brain. There are changes to the tight junctions of endothelial cells. 
 Our findings suggest that BBB breach occurs before significant immune cell infiltration and demyelination.

I wanted to briefly highlight these new studies, and encourage all readers to pursue cardiovascular and endothelial health in 2015.  

The discoveries of endothelial dysfunction and the link to the breakdown of the blood brain barrier in MS are being made.  While we wait for the venoplasty and pharmaceutical solutions, there is much that can be accomplished with lifestyle changes.

Happiest of holidays to all.  Here's to a healthy 2015.

Here is Samantha's view                                               Here is a microbiologist's view


  1. Well done! Thank you! Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    1. Thanks, Beth---happiest of holidays and healthy new year to you and yours. xo

  2. Greetings from Finland (home of Santa Claus :) and thank you Joan! Your blog is wonderful.. and Merry Christamas!

    1. Thanks, Erkki! Merry Christmas! Hope Santa is good to us all this year! :)

  3. It's very heartening that NASA cares enough about science and their astronauts to take CCSVI seriously! If only the medical practitioners and MS Societies on earth cared more about the people with MS than their livelihood...

    1. Agree, Lori! Since 20% of all their astronauts come home with visual and neurological problems, NASA really wants to understand how reduced venous return is affecting their people. And they went to the premiere expert on venous flow---Dr. Zamboni!

  4. I know what causes lesions. It's lysolecithin - the same thing that was used in the studies for predinisone - and is unnaturally high amounts in processed food and products. I have a lot information at http://jesusdiedandlives.wordpress.com I hope you will dialog with me about this. I love your approach!

    1. Removing processed foods and preservatives from our diets is part of the endothelial health program, since many chemicals harm this layer of our blood vessels---but we've known about the disease MS for over 150 years. MS was around long before chemicals such as lysolecithin. There are many things we can do to help ourselves and create better health...but I don't think we can say for sure it's one chemical, one infection, one food, one thing. It's a complete lifestyle. Be well!

  5. Lysolecithin crosses the blood brain barrier and the result of an enzyme that lyses a leg off of phosphatidylcholine. That's the beginning of the chain reaction. Then the lysoPC / lysolecithin moves up the spine and produces lesions - the shape changes when the PC goes to lysoPC and so it creates a lesion - a lack of fluid. You really need to bring a botanist, a chemist, neurologist and a foodie to this blog as a team. I'd really love to talk with a team. I'd also love to talk with a specialist in food labeling and ingredient labeling. This would clear up some questions. Can anyone help me? So, I'm talking about the cause here and once you know the cause, you kind of know the cure - eliminate the cause!

  6. I always suspected the answer was in the stars, and so it is! Prayers for speedy discovery of the cause.

    1. I join your prayers, Tami. all best to you.