Stem Cell Treatment Halts Multiple Sclerosis Progression in 91% of Patients

November

23

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A number of people suffering from multiple sclerosis or MS had a special treatment which involved the destruction of their immune systems and rebuilding it from scratch with the help of their blood stem cells.

After three years, more than 85% of these patients did not experience relapses and more than 90% are not witnessing any development of MS.

A brand new stem cell treatment has helped almost all MS sufferers who used it to stop the progression and start a remission of this vicious disease even after years of suffering.

This clinical study included 24 patients suffering from remitting-relapsing MS and it was monitored and managed by Richard A. Nash, a scientist from the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute in the United States. RRMS (relapsing-remitting MS) is present in more than 85% of MS sufferers around the globe and it is easily recognized by continuous inflammatory attacks on myelin layers.

This is the membrane that keeps the nerve fibres from the central nervous system safe. When these attacks happen, people experience lesions or patches in the membrane which means that the communication between the nerves is disrupted.  As the disease develops, the symptoms are becoming worse and some of these symptoms include vertigo, chronic fatigue, memory loss, loss of basic motor function and even depression.

Jeri Burtchell from the Healthline News says that patient volunteers are taking tests measured with the EDSS – Expanded Disability Status Scale. These tests check the patient’s motor skills, walking ability, quality of life and cognition level. All the patients had results that were between 3 and 5.5 on the scale which means that they had mild or moderate disability. The volunteers were dealing with RRMS for 15 years and some of them less and all of them have continued relapses.

Stem Cell Treatment Multiple Sclerosis

This procedure lasted for three months and it started with HDIT ot high-dose immunosuppressive therapy in a combination with different types of chemotherapy in a certain number of patients which lead to complete destruction of their immune system. After that, they got transplants of hundreds of thousands of stem cells taken from their blood to reconstruct the immune system. This process lasted for 4 years. The volunteers have spent up to one month in hospital until their new immune systems were detected.

Specialists that were part of this trial expected that the new improved immune systems will stop targeting myelin and ultimately prevent the progressions of multiple sclerosis – something that they could not achieve with their old immune system.

A report revealed in the popular JAMA Neurology magazine shows that the specialists were right at least when it comes to the majority of the volunteers. The report shows that about three years since the treatment was finished, more than 85% of patients have not experienced relapses and more than 90% of them have stopped the progression of this disease.

Burtchell claims that even though the MS study is still not finished, these first results witnessed after three years are incredible. Patient Dave Bexfield and almost all other patients that were part of the study were free of relapses and they had no new lesions.

In addition, the majority of patients had improved EDSS scores and their functions were slowly coming back. Patient Bexfield who was forced to stay at home before the study, was able to get involved in outdoor physical activities.

These improved EDSS scores confirm that nerves are actually using myelin like they should be. By getting back myelin, patients repair nerves that were damaged and enjoy all the function they had.

Truth to be told, just like in many other cases, this treatment has led to some side effects which were more unpleasant than unexpected. Patients witnessed gastrointestinal and haematologic toxic effects, but all these effects are reversible. Of course, the patients are monitored on a regular basis in order to see whether these side effects will continue.

The group of scientists point out that they are still not sure whether this special stem cell treatment will become a conventional MS treatment and until then they will continue to analyze the process of re-growth of myelin with the help of MRI scans and they will also examine the data they got from the study.

Via Sciencealert | Healthline

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