How Stem Cell Research Is Advancing Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis affects about 400,000 Americans annually. This condition is the result of the protective lining that surrounds and protects the neurons of the cells, called myelin, being attacked by the immune system. Without myelin, patients of MS feel weak and may have difficulty walking and moving around. This is a debilitating illness that people live with for their entire lives.
Current treatments for multiple sclerosis include bone marrow transplants. The patient’s own bone marrow is eliminated with powerful chemotherapy, then the healthy bone marrow is transplanted, hopefully stopping the destruction of the myelin. Unfortunately, bone marrow transplants are risky and do not always work.
A newer treatment is now being developed by researchers using stem cells. The therapy uses stem cells to try to rebuild the myelin that the immune system has been attacking, causing symptoms. With the myelin rebuilding and repairing itself, the disease is not cured, but symptoms can be greatly decreased. The experiments are using a patient’s own stem cells, or developed stem cells are used in the treatment.
If you are interested in learning more about how stem cells are being used to treat MS, or if you are interested in stem cell treatments for yourself or a loved one, contact us today for more information or to be put in touch with doctors and clinical trials in your area.