A controversial treatment for multiple sclerosis will come under international scrutiny at a conference in Italy this week. Among the research to be discussed is a paper by a doctor who was intrigued by the treatment and decided to test it on his son.

Neurologist Dr. David Hubbard was drawn into the controversial Zamboni treatment after his son Devin, 27, developed MS.

"I wasn't going to sit on my hands and watch him end up in a wheelchair," Hubbard says.

Hubbard, who lives and works in San Diego, Calif., attended a meeting in Hamilton, Ont., last year, where scientists discussed the theory of Dr. Paolo Zamboni: that patients with MS often had sluggish blood draining from their brains.

Zamboni believes that the culprit is blocked veins, and his treatment involves re-opening the blocked blood vessels.

Hubbard was skeptical, but launched a study to measure blood flow in MS patients. In his preliminary study, which has not yet been scrutinized by peer review, he reports that MS patients do indeed seem to have some sluggish blood drainage from their brains. The blood is lingering and taking longer to get out again, he says.

His patients include some Canadians who have travelled to California to participate in the study. The results: when they are treated for block veins, the blood flow looks normal.

The data still have to be reviewed by independent scientists.

With a report from CTV's medical specialist Avis Favaro