A Promising Trial Uses Blood-Derived Stem Cells to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Blood-Derived Stem Cells

A stem cell treatment routinely used for bone and blood cancers is showing great promise for reversing the harmful effects of multiple sclerosis. The treatment, known as autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant, uses chemotherapy to break down the patient’s faulty immune system. Stem cells are then harvested and re-infused into the patient to ‘reboot’ their immune system. Within two weeks, new red and white blood cells start to grow. One of the main sources of hematopoietic stem cells is the umbilical cord blood.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disabling condition of the central nervous system which disturbs the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. This disease can affect the brain & spinal cord, inducing a wide range of symptoms including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.

The human central nervous system is shielded with a fatty white substance, called myelin, which surrounds and guards the nerve fibers, which is responsible for dispatching the information to the brain, spinal cord, and the body. Multiple sclerosis disorder tend to strike and damage the myelin and as the nerve cells are decaying, the symptoms of multiple sclerosis starts to appear which includes numbness, loss of vision, fatigue, and tremors.

There are different stages of onset of multiple sclerosis, diagnosed on the basis of the frequency of the symptoms, time period of every stage, and the hardness of the symptoms. Regardless of the diagnosis, till now multiple sclerosis is not curable.

At present, the disorder is treated by doctors with a combination of heavy medications. But, such treatment are not yet capable of repairing the damage to the nervous system caused by multiple sclerosis and thus the incurable nature of the disease.

According to a recent research, the stem cells found in cord blood holds the potential for improving the immune system’s ability to support the body, and able to rejuvenate the damaged nervous system tissue. Studies have proved the fact that stem cells extracted from cord blood is safer, quicker, and easier to match with the patient compared to stem cells extracted from the bone marrow used in the past.

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