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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Early Cleveland Clinic trial of stem cells for multiple sclerosis shows promise


September 12, 2014

CLEVELAND, Ohio — An early clinical trial testing the use of a patient's own stem cells to treat, or even reverse, multiple sclerosis has shown some positive results, Cleveland Clinic researchers reported this week.

The Phase 1 trial, unique in the United States, tested the safety and feasibility of treating MS patients with a dose of their own adult mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs. Found in the bone marrow, MSCs are being tested in more than 150 clinical trials in the U.S. and abroad as a way to treat a variety of other conditions such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, emphysema and stroke.

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, director of the Clinic's Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research, presented the findings at the MSBoston2014 convention, which opened Wednesday in Boston.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths that surround and protect nerve cells. When myelin is damaged, the nerve cells are exposed and unable to do their job, which is sending signals to the brain and back. This results in the loss of motor skills, coordination and cognitive abilities.

Cohen worked with a team at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Case Western Reserve University on the trial, which completed when the last patient finished the protocol in January. A total of 24 patients with relapsing forms of MS received injections of their own MSCs, which were harvested at UH, carefully cultivated in a special laboratory at CWRU and then injected intravenously back into the patient at the Clinic.

"We really encountered no practical issues and there really were no safety issues," said Cohen, noting the concern that experimental MS treatments can sometimes trigger relapse.
While the study was not designed to measure for benefit — it did not have a comparison group and involved a small group of patients — Cohen said the researchers were encouraged by what they saw.

"We didn't see any dramatic changes in anybody, but looking at the results as a whole there really were some encouraging trends, which is really as much as you hope to see in this kind of study," he said.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

MS diagnosis gives Miss Kentucky a platform and perspective to enjoy the ride

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comSeptember 6, 2014 

Gone are the days when Ramsey Carpenter tossed her fiddle, a ball gown and a bathing suit in the back of her five-speed Ford Escort and headed off to compete in beauty pageants.
Those far-flung "prelims," the stepping stones to Miss Kentucky, were strictly DIY affairs.
But after putting a few miles on her Ford, the former Miss My Old Kentucky Home is nowMiss Kentucky, and one of the perks of the job is a shiny white Lexus to zip around the commonwealth.
This week, she is in Atlantic City to compete for the Miss America title with a team at her disposal including a hair and makeup artist, a personal trainer and a current affairs coach. She has loaded up her four suitcases and been fitted for her own couture gown by the pageant's official eveningwear designer, Tony Bowls.
Like her predecessors, Carpenter carries her crown in its own walnut box with a golden emblem on the side.
But for this Miss Kentucky, her platform is very personal.
As a person diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, her goal is educating people about the disease.
Before she received her title, Carpenter had been working as spokeswoman for theNational Multiple Sclerosis Society.
"Ramsey has been extraordinarily supportive of the MS movement and the work of the society," said Arney Rosenblat, associate vice president of public affairs. "She is deeply engaged with our Kentucky-Southeast Indiana Chapter and has raised funds to help end MS through such events as Bike MS and Walk MS. She has also spoken at a number of chapter events."

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2014/09/06/3415553_ms-diagnosis-gives-miss-kentucky.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy


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