Stem Cell Therapy Breakthrough for MS

2014-07-29 09:05
stem cell therapy for MS

A breakthrough in stem cell therapy for MS (multiple sclerosis) has been announced by experts at the New York Stem Cell Foundation. Although the discovery involved individuals with primary progressive MS, the door has been opened for managing other forms of MS as well as other diseases.

The discovery involved taking skin samples from patients with primary progressive MS and developing pluripotent stem cell lines. In addition, the scientific team created a protocol that allowed the stem cells to transform into oligodendrocytes in about half the time of existing methods. What does all of this mean?

  • Primary progressive MS is a type of MS that occurs in about 10 percent of individuals with the disease. It is the most severe form of the condition and is characterized by symptoms that get worse slowly. However, unlike relapsing-remitting MS (the most common form) and secondary progressive MS (another form of the disease), individuals do not experience relapses and remissions.
  • Pluripotent stem cells are cells that are capable of perpetually creating more copies of themselves as well as producing any tissue or cell needed by the body
  • Oligodendrocytes are cells that make myelin, the protective covering on nervous system cells and the material that becomes damaged and destroyed in MS patients

Therefore, this new breakthrough allows researchers to get even closer to understanding how MS develops before symptoms develop and can lead to much more. In fact, according to NYSCF Chief Executive Officer Susan L. Solomon, “We are so close to finding new treatments and even cures for MS,” and the new findings “will undoubtedly accelerate research for MS and many other diseases.”

While there are no cures or effective treatments for any of the different types of MS, the relentless progressive nature of this most serious form of the disease is especially distressing for those who are afflicted. If ongoing and future research concerning this new breakthrough progresses as hoped, individuals with MS and other demyelinating diseases may have an opportunity to receive cell transplantation treatments.

Other stem cell therapy research
Another recent study, published in Stem Cell Reports, involved injecting pluripotent cells into paralyzed mice who had an MS-like condition. The injections resulted in disappearance of the paralysis, which appeared to be associated with two factors: a decrease in inflammation in the central nervous system and the release of proteins by the injected cells to regenerate myelin and fix damaged cells.

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This research, which was funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is among the first in a series of animal studies that the researchers hope will lead to clinical trials in several years. It joins the NYSCF study and others in the quest to find a way to stop the progression of MS as well as ways to create new myelin and protect the nervous system from damage.

Also read about clinically isolated syndrome and MS

SOURCES
Chen L et al. Human neural precursor cells promote neurologic recovery in a viral model of multiple sclerosis. Stem Cell Reports 2014 May 15; 2(6): 825-37
New York Stem Cell Foundation

Image: Pixabay

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Comments

My daughter, Jeri, has primary progressive MS. Please keep me posted. Thanks.
Hi Peggy: Thanks for writing. I do attempt to keep up with news about MS here at Emaxhealth and will share updated and breaking information. I also suggest you follow the news regularly, seek support from others in your situation, and look into clinical trials--talk to a trusted healthcare provider to help you. My best to your daughter, Jeri, and your family.
Hi, my name is Samantha I'm 24 and I've had MS for 15 years! I am in a wheelchair, and I would love any information on Stem Cell treatment or any trials! Thank You
This is very exciting news! My daughter Jordan, aged 31, has relapsing and remitting MS. The first symptoms appeared when she was 23. She trawls the internet constantly for news and information on research studies, new theories, developments and treatmentsl for MS, For some time we have both been convinced that Stem Cell treatment is the way to go and this article seems to confirm that. We just hope and pray that vital treatment will be approved and made available in time for her and thousands of others. Any further information/ developments you have on Stem Cell Treatment and MS will be much appreciated. Thank you
Hi Jo: Thank you for writing. Yes, it is exciting news, and I also hope the research leads to a viable treatment in the near future. I plan to continue scouring the news for the latest developments as well. My best to you and Jordan and to all those who live with this challenging condition.
Hi, my brother has had RR MS since he was 29 (45 now). He apparently has hit the SP stage and is in a nursing home. I feel time is running out as it is progressing so quickly. He is all I have left in my family and I am desperate to find help for him. I cry each time I return home from a visit at the nursing home as he is the only young person there. Any help ... please let me know as it would change our lives! Thank you!
Tracy: I am sorry to hear that your brother is so ill. Research into possible ways to better treat and slow progression of MS is ongoing. I am neither a healthcare provider nor a scientists; I simply try to keep up with the latest studies and research on MS and report it. I suggest you talk to your brother's healthcare providers and see if there are any clinical trials you brother may be eligible for. You might also join a support group for MS patients and family as the emotional help can be invaluable for you. Also, members of such groups typically share information that have found or experienced about MS. My best wishes to you and your brother.
I too have PPMS - diagnosed at 27, now had it 27 yeas and am getting desperate for some light at the end of the tunnel as life seems to be closing down more and more with the isolation and loneliness that goes with it. In what way did the people involved in the stem cell trial benefit from the treatment - it probably says somewhere but if it does, I can't see it. Thanks.
Debs: Thank you for the question. The study involved the skin cells from patients; the patients themselves did not receive any type of treatment. Therefore, the people involved in the trial did not benefit from the treatment except to contribute to a greater understanding of how stem cell therapy can work for MS. I hope you are finding support from family and friends and support groups both in person and online. I wish I had better news for you concerning this trial, but research is ongoing. Best of luck to you.
Debs - I am always trying to find help for my brother. Positive attitude, religion and medicinal marijuana in spray and pill form - have all helped my brother. If I hear of anything else I will let you know. Also, there are youtube videos about juicing marijuana leaves that have helped out so many people with auto immune diseases - check it out! It's tough to get this for my brother though.
Tracy, my heart goes out to your brother - poor guy. And for you feeling so helpless as you watch the march of this disease grind on. He is lucky to have such a lovely caring and concerned sister. I realise how lucky I am at least to still be in my own home. Is the juicing of marijuana leaves for pain relief? Yes, if you hear of anything else, do please let me know. And I shall do likewise. Do you live in the UK? Bless you, Debs
Tracy: Thank you for sharing the experiences you have had helping your brother and your offer to keep me informed! It's so helpful to keep letting people know about the many options that are available. Best wishes to you and your brother.
I am a 52-year-old male diagnosed over 28 years ago vision problems paralyzed and I started A hormone treatment for years ago that has seem to keep me symptom-free tell recently in the heat I've had some problems rebound was quick though and I do believe that the high dose of female hormones that's creating the prolactin in my body has something to do with the way I carry myself today
Stem cell treatments are available in Panama now and have been for some time.Russia also have the treatment available.Expensive but they seem to be achieving great results.America and other countries seem to be bogged down in bureaucracy and drug companies who just want to maintain their control over the system to prevent alternative treatments which would reduce their profits.