Overview of Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
Stem cell therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) demonstrates the potential for improving symptoms and stabilizing the condition. While several medications treat the symptoms of MS, stem cell therapy may offer a new treatment option for patients who struggle with the side effects of standard medications.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy uses the body’s healing properties to repair diseased, dysfunctional, or injured tissue. Stem cells are considered to be the body’s raw materials, as all cells with specialized functions start as stem cells.
The body contains stem cells in most adult tissues. When conditions are right, these cells divide to either form more stem cells or specialized cells with a specific function, such as blood cells or brain cells. Stem cells are the only cells in the body that can naturally generate new cell types.
How Do Stem Cells Treat MS?
There are several types of stem cell therapies, mostly varying based on the types of stem cells used in the treatment. Two main stem cell treatments for MS patients are HSCT and MSC.
One of the most researched stem cell therapies for MS is hematopoietic stem cell transportation (HSCT), used to treat relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).
Hematopoietic stem cells divide to create blood cells. In HSCT, a patient first takes medication to stimulate the production of bone marrow cells. Then, through a blood draw, stem cells are gathered.
Next, the patient takes strong medications to slow down the immune system. Then the physician injects the stem cells into the bloodstream so they can become new white blood cells, helping the body rebuild a healthy immune system.
Successful treatments take three to six months, and studies show that HSCT may significantly reduce MS progression, especially with other disease-modifying therapies.
Another stem cell therapy for MS uses mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to combat inflammation in the body. MSCs are adult stem cells found in the bone marrow, umbilical cord, skin, and fat tissues.
MSCs have potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties, and researchers see promising results in using MSCT to protect nerves from damage and repair existing damage.
While the use of stem cells in treating MS is still considered experimental, pioneering programs are already seeing promising results.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for multiple sclerosis, also known as stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.