Blogger/columnist Dr. Flanagan, who calls himself “The Upright Doctor has posed a potential connections between MS and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s in his latest post.

Upright doc points out that Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI), as coined by vascular surgeon Dr. Paulo Zamboni of the University of Ferrara, Italy) nearly perfectly describes the thesis of a book he wrote based on twenty years of research.

As Flanagan notes, while the term CCSVI is new, the role of extra cranial venous drainage in contributing to neurodegenerative diseases is a topic he has been writing about for nearly 20 years; he illustrates this point quite literally, featuring an illustration of the brain’s venous drainage system on the cover of his most recent book. Flanagan’s research began more than twenty years ago with anthropological studies focused on Alzheimer’s.

Flanagan believes that the venous drainage problem lies not in the jugular veins (as Zamboni theorizes with his CCSVI in MS theory), but within the vertebral veins as they pass through the upper cervical spine and base of the skull, positing that the deformation and compression of the vertebral venous outlets is far more likely to cause CCSVI than venous stenosis in jugular routes.

For this reason, Flanagan says that MS is “just the tip of the iceberg” — and that for aging baby boomers, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are the iceberg. It certainly raises questions about the connections between these diseases and the possible role genetics plays in all three.