Can stem cell therapy help treat multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Stem cell transplantation may be safe and feasible for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to research. Using stem cells harvested from the bone marrow of the test subjects, the Phase I study suggests that the procedure deserves further study.

MS management has traditionally focused on three areas: treating relapses, managing symptoms and preventing further progression. Doctors hope to add a fourth goal in the near future: reversing disability. While neural repair was considered an unattainable goal in the past, researchers are now attacking the problem on multiple fronts. Adult mesenchymal stem cells may be an option.

Advantages of these cells are their ready availability and the fact that they come directly from the person, eliminating the risk of rejection. This research shows that the approach was safe. As stated, the next step will be showing that these stem cells can actually repair damage in the brain and spinal cord and reverse disability.

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