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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Cerebral Microbleeds and MS

Readers of this blog will know I began writing about the vascular connection to MS after finding a link between Jeff's hypercoagulated serum test results, the small dots of blood seen on his legs called petechiae, and the realization that if he had pinpoint drops of blood escaping vessels on his legs, this could be happening in his brain, as well.  Blood in brain tissue creates oxidative stress, causes demyelination and initiates the coagulation cascade.  Dr. Roy Swank had noted the same thing in the 1950s, and had termed the leaky vessels "fragile capillaries."  I brought this research into the 21st century, by linking this blood vessel fragility to endothelial dysfunction and issues with nitric oxide.

Finally, neurological researchers are noting the importance of cerebral microbleeds in the brains of those with MS, and exploring the cardiovascular connection to MS progression.

Published online today in Radiology, BNAC at the Jacobs School of Medicine in Buffalo reports on the link of cerebral microbleeds to disability in patients with MS.  link

The researchers found that the more cerebral microbleeds a patient had, the more severe were their physical and cognitive outcomes. In particular, MS patients who had more cerebral microbleeds had more physical disability after adjusting for age, hypertension and whole-brain volume.

"This is significant because it suggests that cerebral microbleeds are associated with increased physical disability in MS patients, independent from these additional risk factors for cerebral microbleeds," said Zivadinov.

In terms of cognitive disability, the researchers found that in the subgroup of MS patients who underwent neuropsychological testing, those with more cerebral microbleeds had higher disability on verbal and other cognitive function tests.

"Those MS patients who have cerebral microbleeds are subject to developing more physical and cognitive disabilities earlier in their disease, and therefore monitoring them more closely might be appropriate," Zivadinov noted. 

Significant research is now being done on ways to combat cerebral microbleeds, Zivadinov said, adding that currently, prevention of cardiovascular risk factors was seen as the best way to prevent their formation since there are no currently available target therapies.

This is exactly why taking care of heart health is so vitally important.  There are NO DRUGS to prevent cerebral microbleeds.  It is why I created the Endothelial Health Program to combat all of the environmental factors which contribute to the weakening of the endothelial cells.  A strong endothelium keeps blood inside vessels and stops micro bleeds.  It's not a pill, it's a lifestyle.

The heart and brain are connected, and the research keeps coming in to prove this.  I look forward to the day when cardiovascular and endothelial preserving therapies are the FIRST LINE treatment recommended to MS patients.



  1. Thank you again, Joan - I follow this so closely, but there is always some tweaking to do, and I very much value the reminder. This is really important stuff. xo

    1. You bet, Sheryl! Always good to be reminded of the things we can do today, to help ourselves. xo back atcha.

  2. Thank you always from me here in ENGLAND UK .

  3. Thanks for sharing this, I am now working on DIGE service project for research use. If necessary, there should be something I can do for you.

    1. Hi Sabrina--just saw this. Appreciate the offer for help. I would suggest you contact the International Society for Neurovascular Disease (www.isnvd.org) --as they are following the vascular connection to disease of neurodegeneration, and might be in need of your services. Thanks!

  4. Great work. I am also doing research in detection of cerebral microbleeds. Is it possible for you to provide me with MRI dataset of cerebral microbleeds. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Tayyab---I'm merely a layperson who follows MS research. I would suggest that you contact Mark Haacke's lab at Wayne State for MRI dataset http://www.mrc.wayne.edu/index.php?site=people as well as Yulin Ge's lab at NYU http://www.med.nyu.edu/biosketch/gey01 Both of these gentlemen are looking at microbleeds in diseases of neurodegeneration.