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May 29, 2018

Scientists have reported encouraging results for stem cell therapy, through various recent investigations. This could be referred to as the key to unlock different mysteries of neurological indications including multiple sclerosis, for which road towards the effective treatment has been very tough to be followed, so far.

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis can be referred to be as the autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder, associated with progressive loss of myelin sheath. This myelin sheath acts as the protective insulating sheath, covering neurons to prevent them from damage.

In autoimmune disorders, person’s immune system fails to identify body’s own tissues and start attacking them back, by considering them nonself. In cases like multiple sclerosis, body’s own immune system attacks myelin sheath; thus, exposing neurons to the outer shocks and progressively damaging them.

Traditional medicine focuses only on managing the disease and not reversing the root cause of concern. The conventional multiple sclerosis treatments aim to offer symptomatic relief by strengthening the digestive system, minimizing pain and nourishing other vital organs of the body. This can be achieved by administration of steroidal medicine, however, it should be noted that long-term application of steroidal medicine can affect mental well being of an individual. Some investigations have as well confirmed malicious steroidal effects on other vital organs of the body, such as heart, liver, etc.; if consumed for a longer period of time.

Recent studies in the field of regenerative medicine have offered some hope to people, who have been suffering from multiple sclerosis. The studies have revealed that stem cells isolated from autologous sources of patient’s own body are both safe and effective in modulating patient’s immune system and limiting the progressive damage of brain cells. The primary aim of the investigators was to evaluate the safety of treating patients at various stage of stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis. Scientists were able to demonstrate a safety and were also able to found that infusion of stem cells can immediately induce regeneration of functional nerve fibers, which can help regain functional aspects.

Considering the tremendous treatment outcome, FDA has approved a novel clinical trial designation, as the advanced regenerative medicine therapy. The idea behind the establishment of the said trial is to promote therapeutic applications of regenerative medicine. The good news is that since its establishment in the year 2017, the FDA has almost enrolled 15 therapies, supporting applications of stem cells in regenerative medicine. Accordingly, as per meta-analysis reports, the key findings of the study can be listed as follows:

  • The study involved almost 110 patients with active and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, who was earlier being treated with disease-modifying drugs but were not benefitted.
  • Almost 90% of the patients underwent significant improvement in their disability, during the follow-up
  • The expanded disability status score (EDSS) improved from 3.9 to 2.0
  • During the entire follow up period, within the time span of 1 year only 1 patient reported to have a relapse.
  • No person under these trials had noted any significant side effect.

Thus, stem cell-based therapeutic approach can be a potentially novel way to address issues that are being faced currently, with conventional medical treatment. Consequently, stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis is found to be beneficial in following way:

  • Stem cells can effectively alter relapsing-remitting condition, especially for patients who are at a risk of substantial disability.
  • Stem cells are found to be highly effective in regulating the faulty immune system of the patients and stop further progression.
  • Adult stem cells isolated from autologous sources can safely be used without raising concerns about tumor formation and risk of opportunistic infections.

Thus, in conclusion, stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis can be a very useful therapeutic module for patients suffering from a progressive form of relapsing multiple sclerosis by stopping the progression of predominating degenerative mechanism.

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