REGINA, Saskatchewan, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Canada is considering clinical trials of the "liberation procedure," a treatment for multiple sclerosis that involves opening veins in the neck.
Saskatchewan Health Minister Don McMorris told the Vancouver Sun he expects the procedure to be on the agenda for a meeting next month of provincial health ministers. So far, Yukon, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland have said they would consider participating in the trial and paying for it.
The procedure was developed by Dr. Paolo Zamboni, an Italian vascular surgeon who believes MS is related to blockages in veins carrying blood away from the brain, the Victoria Times Colonist reported. The disease is believed to be caused by damage to the myelin sheaths of the nerves around the brain and spinal column.
Some Canadians have paid thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to get the procedure in Mexico. Margaret Bryant, 72, of Oak Bay, British Columbia, said afterwards she was able to walk without a cane for the first time in years.
"You hear of miracles, but to actually live one is really breathtaking," she told the Times Colonist. "When my daughter saw me get off the airplane and walk to her with no wheelchair, she burst into tears."
Experts warn some of the apparent cures could be a result of the placebo effect and that the risks of the treatment are still unknown.