- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Stem Cells Treat Multiple Sclerosis
Stem Cells Treatment for MS
Stem cells treat Multiple Sclerosis effectively in several clinical trials around the world. They not only stop the progression of the disease but are able to reverse nerve damage. Up until now the only treatment for MS slowed the progression of the disease and alleviated associated symptoms. Cures for Multiple Sclerosis have been non-existent until now. Finally, there are several drugs that are being studied and should be on the market soon according to the Multiple Sclerosis Society plus the stem cell therapy holds great promise. These medications will hopefully be effective in providing a better quality of life, but they aren’t likely to be as effective as stem cell therapy.
MS-the Disease and Symptoms
Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune, chronic neurological disease affecting the central nervous system (which includes the brain and spinal cord) by causing inflammation and damage to myelin (which is the insulation tissue for nerve fibers) and in other cells within the nervous system. The job of the myelin is to conduct nerve signals, so when the myelin is damaged the results may impair normal sensation, movement and thinking. The damage occurs in patches as distinct lesions, so individuals may have different symptoms depending on the location of these lesions.
Initially the symptoms of MS are often transient, mild and self limited. The typical signs and symptoms of MS will vary slightly in different individuals, but the most common ones are changes in sensation, muscle weakness, abnormal muscle spasms, difficulty moving, coordination and balance, speech problems, difficulty swallowing, visual problems, fatigue, acute or chronic pain, bladder and bowel difficulties, cognitive impairment or emotional problems, with depression understandably a problem. This is quite a lot for an individual or even their caretaker to contend with and a stem cell cure would be a miracle for these individuals. Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis occurs with evaluation of symptoms, then a spinal tap. There is no diagnostic blood test.
Collecting Bone Marrow From Hip
Research in Germany
Stem Cell Transplant
Stem cell transplantation for MS step by step as described in a German hospital:
- Physicians take some bone marrow stem cells from the iliac crest bone in the hip and keep the cells alive. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the procedure and it is not particularly painful.
- Stem cells are processed from the bone marrow in a state-of-the-art government approved laboratory. Both quality and quantity of the stem cells is measured. “Thesecells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and are capable of regenerating or repairing damaged tissue.”
- While the German study did not mention this, it was a part of the procedure in the American study with the other steps being identical. They use chemotherapy to essentially wipe out your immune system.
- Next they put the stem cells back into the body by lumbar puncture which puts them into cerebrospinal fluid and transports them up the spinal canal to the brain.
- These new stem cells no longer see the myelin as invader, so they do not attack the myelin sheath.
- The body then can get to work healing any early-stage multiple sclerosis damage.
MS Books with Good Information
In this study 50 patients with MS were treated and returned questionnaires. The mean age was 48 and the follow-up was 5 months later. The results were improvement in 25 patients, no disease progression in 18 patients, and natural progress of disease in only 7. The ability to walk better without help and stand alone was reported by 50% of the patients. Improved visual acuity improved in 57.1%. Enhanced bladder control and bowel control improvement was reported at 47.1% ad 28.6%.
In the American study 23 patients, all with early stage relapsing-remitting MS were treated. They have tried the procedure before in late stage MS and the results were not encouraging. After this procedure the group was followed for 3 years and 17 of them improved by at least 1 point on the disability scale and none got worse. The disability scale is designed especially for MS patients and include things like balance, walking, bladder and bowel control, etc.
Stem cell Research
Multiple Sclerosis Adult Stem Cell Therapy
Summary with New Hope for the Future
There is now a larger trial underway. They want to learn more about risks and benefits or treatment and at precisely at what stage is this procedure most beneficial. Just to clarify the stem cells uses, the process is called autologous non-myeloablative haemopoietic stem cell transplantation, which simply means that a person’s own adult stem cells are used and the chemotherapy doesn’t fully destroy the bone matter. So, this procedure is an autologous bone marrow transplant.
This is an exciting new procedure that promises possible cures particularly when the disease is found in its early stages. Numerous countries with out best top scientist are now treating these patients with stem cells and having positive results. This procedure is actually healing not just slowing down the process of the disease. Stem cells treat Multiple Sclerosis during early stages of the disease is by far the best way to help an individual live a full, normal healthy life. Stem cells for treating Multiple Sclerosis are the most exciting advance in an otherwise debilitating disease
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby