MS Model Mice Regain Mobility After Stem Cell Treatment

shutterstock_128141168Researchers from University of Utah and the University of California-Irvine and The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have shown in mice models of MS that implanting human stem cells into their spinal cords allowed them to run and walk. The results of the said study are published in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system. It disrupts the signaling process between the body and the brain and is said to be caused by the body’s immune system attacking the myelin which acts as a protective coating of the nerve cells. The disease affects over 2 million people worldwide. Without a cure, it continues to be a concern among many people who suffer from it.

Current treatments involve trying to stop the body’s immune cells from further attacking the myelin of nerve cells. But they do not usually treat the damage already caused by the disease. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute injected 96 mice suffering from a disease similar to MS with human embryonic stem cells. As they expected, the researchers saw the presence of the injected stem cells diminishing after 8 days. But what surprised them was that the mice that were disabled by the disease showed improved signs of mobility.

Even after the immune system started rejecting the human stem cells, it seemed to have an effect on the disease and halt its progression. The researchers surmised that the stem cells may have triggered certain cells in the immune system of the mice to decrease the demyelination and reduce the inflammation related to the said disease.

Source: Health Central

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