Experimental Treatment May Help Control MS Symptoms

An experimental treatment being practiced in Israel may help alleviate symptoms that are associated with multiple sclerosis. The said treatment has shown positive signs even for some of the patients that have an untreatable from of the said disease. The pioneering procedure is said to also offer hope for other types of conditions such as spinal cord injuries and ALS or Amyotropic lateral sclerosis.

According to lead researcher Prof. Dimitrios Karussis of Hadassah Medical Center and his colleagues at the Tel Aviv Medical Center, the said experimental treatment involves removing some of a patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells and growing them in the laboratory in large quantities.

Mesenchymal stem cells are found in the bone marrow and turn eventually into what makes up the heart tissue, bone cartilage and nerve cells. The cells are then injected back into the patients where they try to repair the existing damage to the nerve cells.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system ends up attacking the nerve cells in the body. This results in a variety of symptoms which includes disability, paralysis, fatigue and even blindness.

Treatment for Ms currently deals with using medication in order to alleviate the symptoms. But these drugs do not usually work effectively on all patients.

The pioneering treatment of using mesenchymal stem cells aims to treat Ms at its early stages, way before irreversible changes happen.

The early data so far showed that about 25 patient who underwent the treatment have shown an occurrence of the stem cells repairing the existing damage to the nerve cells, according to Dr. Shimon Slavin of the Tel Aviv Medical Center. The patients have so far not shown any serious side effects due to the experimental treatment.

Source: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081116/ms_treatment_081116/20081116?hub=Health


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