People who suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS) have double the chance of abnormal blood flow from the brain than non-sufferers, research has shown.
Initial analysis of a US trial found that more than half (56.4%) of MS patients had narrowing of the extracranial veins in their head and neck, which hampers blood flow. In comparison, 22.4% of healthy people had the same narrowing, suggesting a link with the neurological condition.
Scientists at the University at Buffalo said they were “cautiously optimistic” about the results, which are based on the first 500 people trialled in the Combined Transcranial and Extracranial Venous Doppler Evaluation (CTEVD) study.
Complete analysis of the study, which began in April 2009, will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology this April.
Robert Zivadinov, associate professor of neurology and principal investigator on the study, said: “The data encourage us to continue on the same course. They show that narrowing of the extracranial veins, at the very least, is an important association in multiple sclerosis.
“We will know more when the MRI and other data collected in the CTEVD study are available.”