Canadian brothers find MS treatment in Poland
Two brothers, one from Winnipeg and one from Ottawa, have emerged from surgery in Poland, expressing optimism for their hopes to alleviate the symptoms they have from multiple sclerosis.
Winnipegger Duncan Thornton, 47, travelled with his Ottawa brother Evan, 49, for a procedure not available in Canada.
The surgery, still considered experimental in the much of the medical community, involves increasing blood flow to the brain. In some cases, patients have reported promising results.
On Thursday, the brothers told CBC News that each of them had the surgery performed and they were both feeling better.
Duncan Thornton said circulation in his hands and feet has noticeably improved.
"All I wanted was to not get worse," Evan Thornton said following his surgery.
He also noticed a change.
"I felt my hands and feet getting warm almost right away. That was kind of like the lottery prize. My hands are warmer than they were. My feet are warmer. It's just amazing. It's what we hoped. It's more than we hoped."
The brothers are still in hospital in Katowice, Poland, and could be released as early as Friday.
While their initial impressions of the surgery were positive, it could take months to determine if the procedure will be of lasting benefit.
The surgery cost each man about $10,000. It is not a covered procedure because it is still being researched in North America.
The treatment is based on the theory that MS is linked to chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, a condition where blocked veins in the neck or chest prevent blood from draining properly from the brain.