A Saskatchewan man with multiple sclerosis who's in Albany, N.Y., underwent surgery Wednesday as part of a clinical test of neck-vein treatment.
Andrew Dahlen, of Saskatoon, is one of 86 patients from the province who will receive surgery — but only half the patients in the trial will receive the vein-opening procedure that some people say provides relief from MS symptoms.
The others will receive a "placebo" operation, allowing researchers to test whether the procedure works.
Dahlen, who is accompanied by his girlfriend Amanda Olson, is the first person under the provincially supported program to go to New York.
On Wednesday, he received medication intended to effectively cause amnesia about the surgery. The idea is that he will come out knowing he had some kind of procedure, but not sure if he had the venoplasty that's supposed to open up constricted neck veins.
Following the 90-minute procedure, he will spend a short time recovering in a hospital bed.
What comes next will be a long-term evalution of whether his condition changes.
Some MS patients say the so-called liberation therapy helps them walk better or relieves their symptoms in other ways.
Others say the therapy doesn't work or the improvements won't last.
Dahlen said he hopes he's among the 50 per cent who get the real treatment, but in any case, he's happy to contribute to the research.