Caroline Wyatt, a 49-year-old journalist with the British Broadcasting Corporation, has spoken about how a pioneering stem cell treatment has helped lift the brain fog associated with her multiple sclerosis. She says she hasn’t felt this good in a long time. Wyatt’s MS was diagnosed after more than two decades of seeing doctors for unexplained complaints.
Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are afflicted with MS, a lifelong condition for which there is currently no cure. People with this disease suffer a number of symptoms, including numbness, tingling, brain fog, and difficulty walking. Poor vision, tremors, spasms, and stiffness are some other symptoms of MS.
Wyatt underwent treatment at a clinic in Mexico after speaking to other patients who had benefited. The procedure involves chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant whereby the faulty immune system is deactivated and the harvested stem cells are used to grow a new one to replace it. Some individuals report the results of the hematopoietic stem cell transplants have been close to miraculous.
Wyatt reported she has had more gentle and gradual improvement. Less than a month after returning, she said she felt better and her brain fog had started to lift.
Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease in which the protective myelin layer surrounding the nerves becomes scarred and damaged. This sclerosed layer then disrupts signal transmission. The inflammation and scarring can lead to permanent degeneration of the nervous system.
Wyatt first began experiencing symptoms in the 1990s but was finally diagnosed with confirmed MS in 2015 following a spinal tap. Her condition deteriorated despite treatment with MS drugs. Wyatt did not qualify for a stem cell trial in the UK where such treatments are highly regulated. She then sought therapy in Mexico after she learned that 8 out of 10 patients had responded at least to some degree. Larger, more in-depth studies are needed before this treatment can become a standard therapy.