Treatment possibilities for multiple sclerosis (MS) using bone marrow stem cell therapy have been revealed through a recent trial. The trial was led by a Neil Scolding, professor of Clinical Neurosciences from the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS.
The bone marrow of trial patients was harvested and the cells were filtered and injected into the patient’s vein later that same day. The patients followed up for a year. There were no serious effects reported.
The stem cells which were transferred to the blood improved the MS disease in several ways. Another large study is soon to follow, as well as more extensive research to measure the effectiveness of stem cell therapy in treating multiple sclerosis.
Stem cells from bone marrow are capable of replacing cells in tissues and organs. For this reason, they are of great interest in developing new treatment for many different diseases.
According to NorthShore University HealthSystem, multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by damage to the outer nerve cells and fibers that lie on the spinal cord. Over time, this damage results in decreased nerve functioning, and may lead to a variety of symptoms.
Some symptoms of multiple sclerosis include blurred vision, muscle weakness, problems with posture, numbness, problems swallowing and stuttering. However, there are many different symptoms of this disease.
Multiple sclerosis is usually detected through an MRI scan. There are currently three main categories of treatment: corticosteroids, immune-modulating medications and different drugs. Acute exacerbations, or symptom relapses are treated with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive agents called corticosteroids. Immuno-modulating medications are used to treat and manage long-term multiple sclerosis. Lastly, different drugs are used to treat common symptoms of multiple sclerosis, like bladder problems, pain or tingling.
New findings in Neurology, a medical journal, show that people with multiple sclerosis who have relapses within five years of developing the disease are more likely to suffer from severe limitations in the short term than others with the condition.
The research shows that people with the disease who relapse within five years of developing it are nearly 50 percent more likely to need a cane to walk during that time. Nevertheless, the study also found that early relapses seem to be less important to the progression of the disease later in life. The study looked at the experiences during an average of 20 years of nearly 2,500 people with multiple sclerosis who experienced relapses in British Columbia. 11,722 relapses were recorded during those two decades.
NorthShore University HealthSystem cites: “Our findings may represent an important message to people diagnosed with MS today,” study author Helen Tremlett, from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. “Those who have a history of relapses could potentially be offered reassurance that, as time goes on, these relapses will have a diminishing effect on their everyday lives.”
The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society writes that a study at the Institute of Neurology, performed by UCL and the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, Barts and The London suggest that differing antibody levels produced in response to the common virus Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), may predict the course of MS.
The findings could help give insight into how the body progresses into patients that will develop MS, and how to find the appropriate treatments.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disorder of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) caused by progressive damage to the outer covering of nerve cells (myelin) and subsequently the nerve fibers. This results in decreased nerve functioning, which can lead to a variety of symptoms. Some of the symptoms can vary from numbness in the limbs to paralysis or loss of vision. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.