Stem Cell Research for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects nearly a million people in the US. The disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin, the protective sheath which covers the nerve fibers. As a result, the communication between the brain and body become disrupted, causing variable, unpredictable symptoms.

While the disease can be potentially disabling, there are more treatments available than ever to help slow its progression and control symptoms. Moreover, researchers are continually investigating potential options for new treatments. Here are some glimpses into the most recent findings from MS research.

Study Shows 2-Year Benefit from Stem Cells for MS Patients

According to a study published in Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, Multiple Sclerosis patients who underwent stem cell treatment experienced reduced or stable disability over two years following the therapy.

The study, while small, suggests that mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors (MSC-NPs) can reduce inflammation in progressive MS. These stem cells are collected from the patient’s own bone marrow, then expanded and matured to modulate the immune response. The cells were administered to the spinal canal on three separate occasions, resulting in improved exercise capacity and muscle strength. Two patients even gained the ability to walk with assistive devices, despite being non-ambulatory prior to the study.

Neuregulin-1 beta 1 Protein Level Restoration Could Slow MS Progression

An MS diagnosis may take several years in some instances since several indicators must be present and the disease’s symptoms mimic many other conditions. Researchers are seeking ways to expedite diagnosis through a specific protein that could serve as an indicator for MS.

Additionally, increasing the amount of the protein, Neuregulin-1 beta 1 (Nrg-1beta1) might delay the onset of MS, reduce symptoms, and control its progression. It’s believed that the protein would help to prevent rogue immune cells from entering the central nervous system and simultaneously drive the immune cells to promote repair throughout the immune system. The findings have only been observed in animal studies thus far, however, so further research is needed.

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This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for multiple sclerosis, also known as stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.

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