Exploring new treatments for multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis expert and Healthmaker Saud Sadiq, MD, founder of the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice, discusses modern treatments for MS and his effort to use stem cells to cure the disease. Learn more in this video.
[ENERGETIC MUSIC PLAYING] I think if we find the cause of MS, then I think you can go for a cure. Without it, you can't. That's a completely different subject.
We are getting very close to the cause of MS. And if we can get there, then I think the cure questions can really be asked in a realistic way.
The brain and spinal cord has electrical systems or nerves, and just like the household wire,
it has a copper wire in the middle, and it has insulation material. The nerves have axons and myelin.
Myelin is the covering. And MS is an autoimmune disease, which-- is thought to be an autoimmune disease in which
the immune system attacks the covering of these nerves, called myelin-- and then, if it's unchecked, can involve the copper wires
themselves, the axons. You either can see the patient every three to six months and Pat them on their backs, or you can do something about it.
Looking into this was to see if other types of treatment could re-myelinate or regenerate the brain and spinal cord
using the patient's own stem cells. And then, there was this idea that maybe you could harvest patients' cells. So it was kind of more of an evolution
rather than an aha moment. There are a few MS centers that are legitimately doing it with the approval of their FDA-equivalent bodies,
and we are the only ones who are doing neural stem cells in anywhere in the world that I know of, which are being injected into the spinal fluid.
So nobody is exactly doing what we are doing. In our case, we started working with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.
And we were trying to see if we could coerce them into becoming brain stem cells or neural stem cells. And once we did that in vitro, in the Petri
dish in the laboratory, we then said, why don't we try these studies in mice and go all the way? And we purposely treated these mice
after they had become disabled and then found that they were recovering. So then, that led us to propose these studies to the FDA
to try it in humans. I see us at the point of the first cell phone being invented, and that model now
wouldn't even be in the shops. I mean, so I think it's like the first thing you do of anything. It's you learn, and then you move on.
What I hope in the next five years is that this stem cell trial is safe, is tolerated well,
and starts giving us the insight into how to get repair started in MS and in other neurological diseases.
If that can be accomplished, I'll be ecstatic. And there are so many challenges ahead. Try to do the best for your patients,
and everything else will take care of itself. And I certainly am not a role model. There are many better physicians than myself.
But those are the goals that have been driving me. It takes money. It takes patience. It takes endurance, and it takes prayer and belief
in a purpose of your life. And if it's in your destiny, I think it will happen. [WHOOSH]
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