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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Vascular factors affect MS disease progression

I know, I know.  You'd think it would be obvious by now that the heart and brain are connected, and that vascular health has an impact on MS disease process.   But in the 10+ years I've been following MS research, it seems as though researchers are continually surprised when they learn that cardiovascular comorbidities have an impact on MS progression.

There are two new research papers from Canadian MS specialists, published in the AAN journal Neurology, which have found a connection between blood flow and MS progression.  I am thankful to know that Dr. Helen Tremlett's team continues to look at this connectivity--- but frustrated by the lack of recommendations being made by MS Societies and MS specialists regarding lifestyle interventions like nutrition and exercise.  There is still a huge disconnect.

The first paper found that people with hyperlipidemia (which is an abnormally high content of fats in the blood---measured by LDL cholesterol numbers)  and migraine had an increased MS relapse rate.  
Link to "Comorbidity increases the risk of relapse in MS"

The second paper also looks at cardiovascular comorbidities, like ischemic heart disease and found a link in disease progression and disability.  link to "Effects of physical comorbidities on disability progression in MS"

The Centre for Brain Heath in Canada has recently published an article on this research, in which Dr. Tremlett says---

"Our findings suggest that if you could alter the trajectory of a comorbidity, you may be able to improve outcomes in MS.”

And how do patients reduce heart disease, lower their LDL cholesterol, improve vascular comorbidities?   Well, no surprise here.  Researchers don't want to say, they would like funding for more research.

“This suggests that we may need to take a more holistic approach to managing MS and related comorbidities,” says Dr. Zhang. “Effective treatment for each comorbidity may reduce disability risk. We need more research to identify the most appropriate treatment approach for each comorbidity in MS.”
Information for the disability progression study came from health administrative data across Canada, with nearly 30 years of anonymized clinical records providing detailed insight into the relationship between comorbidities present before and after MS symptom onset and disability progression over time.
Dr. Roy Swank published on ALL of this in the 1950s.  And he was routinely mocked by MS neurologists who felt that MS was an autoimmune disease which could not be altered by diet and lifestyle.  But they were wrong.   link
Don't let another 60 years go by.  Take control of your life, your own health today.  Eat a heart healthy, colorful diet full of plants, move as much as you can, get UV rays, decrease stress and increase laughter.  Get good sleep, don't smoke, stay involved in community and learning.  Because science shows that these things can make a difference in your MS disease process.  link

The heart brain connection is real.


  1. Thank you always Joan for speaking truths from me here in the UK always speak out .

    .Formato : Estratto Br J Haematol. 2005 nov; 131 (4): 417-30.

    L'Infiammazione AVVIA la Coagulazione, diminuisce l'attività dei meccanismi anticoagulanti naturali e Danneggia il Sistema Fibrinolitico.

    Le Citochine infiammatorie sono i principali mediatori coinvolti nell'attivazione della coagulazione.

    Gli Anti-Coagulanti Naturali funzionano per smorzare l'innalzamento dei livelli di citochine.

    Inoltre, i componenti delle cascate anticoagulanti naturali, come la Trombomodulina, riducono al minimo la Disfunzione delle Cellule ENDOTELIALI rendendo le cellule meno reattive ai mediatori dell'infiammazione, facilitano la neutralizzazione di alcuni mediatori dell'infiammazione e riducono la perdita della funzione di barriera endoteliale.

    QUINDI, la Downregulation dei percorsi anticoagulanti NON SOLO promuove la Trombosi, MA Amplifica anche il Processo Infiammatorio.

    QUANDO le interazioni di infiammazione e coagulazione travolgono i sistemi naturali di difesa, si Verificano Eventi Catastrofici,


    PMID: 16281932 DOI: 10.1111 / j.1365-2141.2005.05753.x
    [Indicizzato per MEDLINE]

  3. Hi Joan!
    Great post and great news as usual.
    I just stumbled upon this article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4574083/
    I was quite surprised to know that "no endothelial cells were found in the defective cusps, and the surface of the structure is covered by a fibro-reticular lamina." of the internal jugular veins of pwMS.
    Given all your research, is there anything we can do to repair this? Is the endothelial program any effective given already the absence of endothelial cells?
    I look forward to your reply!
    Thanks as usual!

    1. Yes--you've found an important paper! I blogged about this three years ago---http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com/2015/02/putting-pieces-together.html

      "Dr. Zamboni has noted that there is a derangement of the endothelial cell layer in the jugular veins and valves in people with CCSVI/MS. This loss of endothelial cells could well be causing the decrease in cerebrovascular reactivity seen in people with MS. And it is caused by CCSVI.

      Having discussed this with Dr. John Cooke, who is a leading endothelial cell researcher now working on creating new ECs using fibroblasts, there is a possibility of regenerating ECs. I created the Endothelial Health Program, based on Dr. Cooke's cardiovascular research, to repair and regenerate these cells. EC proginators, which come from bone marrow, can be regenerated with lifestyle---including exercise and a Mediterranean diet. But they also need shear stress to survive---and if jugular valves are frozen, or cannot move--there is not enough blood flow for regeneration, and slowed circulation and EC death occurs. This is why CCSVI needs to be treated.