In a previous post I discussed the role of the vertebral veins, also knowns as the vertebral venous plexus (VVP), in causing chronic craniocervical venous back pressure (CCVBP) and subsequent neurodegenerative conditions and diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Like CCSVI, CCVBP can lead to chronic venous backups and edema in the brain. It can also affect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure gradients and subsequent flow and volume. Correct CSF volume is essential to brain cushioning, protection and support. Consequently, in addition to MS, CCVBP may play a role in normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH), which has been associated with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
I next discussed the vertebral-basilar arterial supply to the brain and its likely role in chronic ischemia which, like chronic edema from backed up veins, is one of the main suspects in demyelination and other neurodegenerative conditions and subsequent diseases. Lastly, I posted pictures of the tight neurovascular tunnels the VVP and vertebral-basilar arteries must pass through in the upper cervical spine and foramen magnum in the base of the skull on its way to the motherboard of the brain, the brainstem.
In light of the above, the picture below on the right is of Greek techno music producer, CostumeNational of fightforccsvi.com. The picture was taken with his permission from Dr. Scalfani’s MS website forum called, ThisIsMS.com.
The forum is a wonderful group of MS patients who have provided me with a rare opportunity and unbelievable insight into the mystery of MS that they openly and gladly share. Weakened by their condition, they are nonetheless strong and quite fiery in spirit. Together they have formed a formidable group that is shaking up scientists and researchers around the world. Their determined efforts are helping lead the way and shape future research not only for solving MS, but other devastating neurodegenerative conditions as well, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, NPH, Huntington’s chorea, ALS, PLS and others too numerous to mention here. It is invaluable, to say the least, to have so many cases to study and follow in one location. They provide a wealth of information that demands further retrospective analysis and investigation, such as I am in the process of doing, but on a much larger scale.
This particular type of picture is called an open mouth odontoid image because the odontoid process of the second cervical vertebra, called axis or C2, is in the center of the image. It’s called the odontoid process because it looks like a tooth that sticks straight up from the body of the vertebra.
The odontoid process fits neatly into a notch in its mate directly above called Atlas or C1 beneath the base of the skull. The odontoid process permits greater pivotal action in the upper cervical spine. In my opinion, the odontoid process also reduces the size of the body of the vertebra, which may help to reduce pressure in the area during head and neck movement. The red line indicates the center line of the spine. The triangular dart-like shapes pointing upward are the spinous process of the cervical vertebra. In a normal spine, they should all line up on the red line.
If you look through the open mouth you will see one of the darts is way off to one side. You will note by the marker on the film that it indicates the right side. That particular dart is the spinous process of the second cervical vertebra (C2) called axis. The degree of misalignment in this case is severe.
According to CostumeNational, about eight years ago, he was riding a motorcycle when he crashed into a car, which threw him to the ground landing on the right side of his shoulder and head. The force of the fall from the weight of his propelled body magnified by the speed he was traveling at severely snapped his neck to the left and left him unconscious.
As the x-ray evidence clearly shows, when he came to later in the hospital, although no one knew it at the time, his head and neck were no longer aligned properly. Instead it remained in the wicked tilt to the left the same as it was after impact. Eight years later he started to develop optic neuritis in his left eye on the low side of the head tilt. Head tilts cause the brain, blood and CSF inside the cranial vault to shift to the low side just like water in a glass, which can increase pressure on the optic nerve and may play a role in optic neuritis.
Interestingly, he had no lesions in the brain but he did show a hyperintensity signal precisely at the location of the kink in the upper cervical spine. The highly suspicious, characteristic symptom of optic neuritis was next followed by cerebral, as well as cord signs and symptoms identical to MS. Nonetheless, without brain lesions, his case falls into the uncertain category of cracks, a no-man’s land not considered to be classic MS.
There is a major principle in neurology when it comes to the brain and the cranial vault, called the Monroe-Kellie principle. According to the Monroe-Kellie principle there are essentially three elements inside the cranial vault which include the brain, blood and CSF. Since the cranial vault is a closed container for the most part, if the volume of one of the elements increases, then one or both of the other two elements must decrease in volume. A brain tumor for example can compress blood and CSF vessels as can Chiari malformations mentioned in previous posts. Likewise, an increase in blood or CSF volume can compress the brain.
The same principle holds true for the spine and spinal canal, which, like the cranial vault, is for the most part a closed container. In other words, there is no free space inside the spinal canal. Instead, the space between the inside walls of the spinal canal and the cord is filled with the VVP. Therefore a kink in the upper cervical spinal canal as in the case above puts a kink in the drainage system of the brain and cord. It also causes venous back pressure and hypertension around the cord. Lastly, it increases resistance to CSF flow on its way back to the brain from the cord.
In my next post I will discuss precision line analysis used by upper cervical chiropractors to analyze mechanical strains such as the one above. After that we will then look at some of the common signs and symptoms of MS which share a lot in common with AD and PD.
For additional information on this and related topics visit my website at http://www.upright-health.com.