CCSVI GOES INTO SPACE: THE ITALIAN ASTRONAUT MRS CRISTOFORETTI WILL EXPERIMENT WITH COMPLETELY NEW DIAGNOSTIC METHODS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
To quantify cerebral venous return in extraordinary conditions (weightlessness) and to validate novel diagnostic tools which once applied in surgery will be very useful for people suffering from chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI, vein pathology discovered by Paolo Zamboni, University of Ferrara) and for cardiac patients.
BRAIN DRAIN is one of the scientific experiments, presented today in Rome at the headquarters of ASI, that the Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will carry out during the mission FUTURA of the Italian Space Agency on board the International Space Station (ISS). Cristoforetti will leave for the six month Mission on November 23 from Baykonur (Kazhakhstan) on board the Russian Soyuz shuttle.
Professor Paolo Zamboni discovered CCSVI seven years ago, blood does not flow properly from the brain to the heart due to various malformations of the jugular veins and the dorsal azygos vein and, along with his team, he identified venous disease as a possible cause of some neurodegenerative conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
Brain Drain aims to improve understanding of the physiology of the brain. Since the force of gravity on the earth is one of the main mechanisms which returns the blood from the brain to the heart, the absence of gravity is the ideal condition to understand better the phenomena of physiological adaptation and to identify possible chronobiological variations of the blood flow.
Two completely new developments in diagnostics are proposed with Brain Drain (whose project manager is Angelo Taibi, of the Physics and Earth Science Department of University of Ferrara): the plethysmograph (plethysmographic collar), a totally non-invasive and non-operator-dependent device, and the development of a jugular path synchronized with the electrocardiogram, "to derive in a non-invasive way the jugular vein pulsation and to characterize the cardiac impact."
Zamboni, project manager for ASI and NASA, said “that a difficult outcome could finally be realised – this could be reproduced, and will become the 'gold standard' for the diagnosis of CCSVI. Not-invasive, not operator-dependent, it will be useful to understand if the venous return is obstructed and irregular. But not only this, it will be possible to perform faster and more objective examinations, which can be also used for heart disease, especially in those with arrhythmias and heart failure."
Scientific experiments selected by ASI were chosen "as extraordinarily important and potentially decisive," said the president of ASI Roberto Battiston, "and for this reason they represent our challenge: to stimulate the reproducibility of their precious results, with the objective to translate them into improvements in the daily lives of people. "
Words that reinforce the concrete hope of CCSVI and multiple sclerosis patients, that the path indicated by Prof. Zamboni is right one. It is right one.
Rome, October 3rd, 2014
CCSVI in Multiple Sclerosis – Onlus Bologna – Italy
+ 39 347 407 49 86
Traslated by: Gabriele Reccia
Reviewed by Alison Fisher and Arne Kaminsky (Thanks a lot guys from all of us