Nearly a month after undergoing experimental liberation treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, Swift Current's Mike McIntosh has shown marked improvements after enduring MS symptoms over three decades.
McIntosh was part of a group of Canadians who traveled to Poland in August to undergo an experimental procedure which uses angioplasty to open a neck vein and drain blood from the head.
Scientists are beginning to explore whether Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) is a root cause of MS.
Having undergone surgery on August 26, McIntosh is reporting that the procedure has resulted in major improvements.
"I'm standing here. I've been standing here a long time. I couldn't stand here that long, not without grabbing you and holding you. I'm standing pretty steady," McIntosh said moments after a 45-minute presentation to a group at the Riverview Village Estates on Sept. 16.
"I can walk. I can get up and walk. I can sit all evening and watch tv without pain and spasticity in my legs. I still have a feeling in the back of my legs, like pins and needles, but it's nothing compared to what it was."我可以走路了，可以整夜坐著看電視且腿再也不會感到疼痛和抽筋了, 雖然腿後方仍有針刺的感覺，比起之前，這不會太困擾我
McIntosh describes the procedure as having dirty blood released from the brain.
"I know Dr. (Paolo) Zamboni talks about the garbage that the blood leaves in the brain, all the dirty blood - no oxygen in it...it leaves iron deposits in our brain. And so they pile up and so white blood cells attack them after a while."
"This is MS. This is what causes it. The blood just goes up to your brain and can't get out. There's no drain. You've got dirty blood with no oxygen in your head, stuck there all the time, only coming down the wrong places. Every time you lay down you get a headache. It's just not a good scene."
"We just have to study it and find out what it is," he said. "I hope they just get to work on this right away, because it sure helped me."
During his surgery, McIntosh said doctors made a small incision in his upper leg, and a tube was inserted through a vein to reach his jugular veins.
He said the vascular surgeon and neurosurgeon conducting the procedure told him "You might feel pressure, and then they pumped it up. At that point my eyes all went like there were clouds in them, like grey clouds and brown clouds and dust balls flying by, but I could see perfectly behind them. They were floaters."
"I said to the doctor I can see floaters. And he said, 'yes, normal. Yes, normal. It's normal.'"
He said it was unique sensation when they released the pressure during the angioplasty
"It was like a spray gun went off," he recalls. "And all the stuff in my eyes disappeared."
"It's just dirty blood. They were holding back dirty blood. I could see the dirty blood, and at that point they let it go."
McIntosh said his story, and the experiences of others following this experimental treatment, are too compelling to ignore.
"They are scientists and they impress that upon you all the time," he said. "We hope for the best results. It's a hope. They don't promise you anything and they tell you its experimental. And that's what it is. And it's a good experiment as far as I'm concerned."
"It's got to happen. There's too many of us coming back with good reports."