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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Future of Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Patients Relies on Clinical Trial Participation

Adult Autologous Stem Cell Therapy May Provide Immunomodulatory Benefits
<span class="entry-title">The Future of Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Patients Relies on Clinical Trial Participation</span><span class="entry-subtitle">Adult Autologous Stem Cell Therapy May Provide Immunomodulatory Benefits</span>

Among the different therapeutic approaches being explored for treating MS, adult stem cell therapy continues to be one of the most discussed and anticipated in the MS community. “Stem cells” — the common term for undifferentiated, self-renewing proliferating cells — are currently being investigated for their ability to treat patients in a wide range of disease indications, including multiple sclerosis, due to their ability to reboot the immune system, address inflammation in the body and repair damage caused by injury or disease. For MS, some researchers believe that stem cell therapy can effectively repair damaged myelin, preventing the progression of the disease and minimizing its effect on patients’ quality of life.
Stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis begins with the introduction of adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) taken from the Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) — the fatty material that is removed in procedures such as lipsosuction — which is processed and reintroduced back into the body. From there, these MSCs are believed to be able to travel past the blood brain barrier and repair the myelin sheath around nerve cells that becomes damaged by the immune system in MS in a process known as “remyelination.” In addition, stem cells also act as modulators of the immune system in patients with multiple sclerosis, as MSCs secrete cytokines and other molecules that can have an anti-inflammatory effect or produce an inhibitory action on pro-inflammatory pathways. Since MS is an autoimmune disease, if stem cell therapy is proven to restore normal function to the immune system as well as repair damaged myelin, it would represent a revolutionary, next generation approach to treating the disease.

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