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Province to announce next step in Alta. MS Initiative
Published Tuesday, July 26, 2011 4:32PM MDT
On Wednesday, Alberta's health minister is set to outline the next step in the Alberta MS Initiative (TAMSI). CTV News has learned the initiative will include a website and an online questionnaire.
Up until this point, many Canadian MS patients have been opted to travel overseas to find clinics willing to provide CCSVI treatment, invented by Italian physician Paolo Zamboni, which uses balloon angioplasty to open up blocked veins in the necks of those who suffer from MS.
Kathryne Taylor is one of many who travelled abroad to get the treatment. She will soon celebrate her first anniversary after getting the treatment in Mexico July 30th.
She says weeks after her procedure she was walking, but during the year Taylor says her progress stalled. She believes she needs a second treatment to further open the blockage.
She says she'll be watching and waiting to see if the province will advance their timelines on starting clinical trails here in Alberta. She hopes the province will launch more than just a questionnaire on Wednesday.
"I'm more encouraged about the trials than just about gathering information. I wish they would just allow doctors even in private clinics -- even if we had to pay for it, allow it here in Canada so we didn't have to travel," she said.
The province is set to launch the web-based questionnaire for Albertans who have MS, as well as those who have gotten the liberation treatment in another country, or who are scheduled to do so.
The study was expected to start in the spring. The province will look for 500 of the estimated 13,000 people with MS to take part.
Late last month, the federal government announced it has given the green light to fund clinical trials of a controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis patients.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the federal government will fund trials of CCSVI treatment.
Taylor is confident the federal funding may speed up the process for other MS patients. She says she still plans to go to California for a second liberation treatment in a few months.
With files from Dez Melenka