Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease of central nervous system (brain and spinal cord); responsible for significant morbidity and mortality world wide. Research shows that multiple sclerosis reduces life expectancy by 10-15 years and at least two third deaths among the sufferers are attributed directly to the disease. According to an estimate in United States alone 250,000 to 350,000 people are suffering from multiple sclerosis which is a significant proportion of general population of America. Young to middle aged people are usual victim of the disease but no age is exempt as multiple sclerosis has also been documented in older age group in good numbers.
The basic underlying pathology in multiple sclerosis is autoimmune destruction of myelin sheath present around the neurons which is necessary for normal functioning of these neurons. Our own immune system destroys myelin sheath (demyelination) and produces neurological defects. Demyelination occurs in patches involving different areas of the brain and such a patch is called a plaque of multiple sclerosis. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis depend on which area of spinal cord or brain is involved and may range from mere fatigue or numbness of some part of body to paralysis and loss of vision. Multiple sclerosis may present in several ways from remitting relapsing (attacks of disease are alternated with disease free period) course to progressive deterioration leading to death. It is a fact that majority of patients lose their vision or become crippled with the disease in 10-15 years.
Shortcomings of Conventional Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
The conventional treatments for multiple sclerosis consist of corticosteroids, interferon beta and immunosuppressive drugs. Although these treatments show someeffectiveness but many patients fail to respond. It is also noted that neurological defects sometimes don’t improve and disease progresses despite of optimal treatment. Primary progressive multiple sclerosis has bad prognosis and poorly responds to conventional treatment. The above mentioned shortcomings of conventional treatment leave a query for a more durable treatment to correct the basic auto-immune phenomenon.
Stem Cell Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis – Clinical Trials
Stem cell therapy has come out of the stage of infancy for treatment of multiple sclerosis; a number of clinical trials mounted good evidence of its effectiveness. Clinical trials in different countries of the world showed improvement in multiple sclerosis symptoms after stem cell therapy along with arresting the disease to prevent further damaging effects.
In a clinical trial published in The Lancet Neurology Jan 2009, Richard Burt, lead author of the trial (chief of immunotherapy for auto-immune diseases at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine) reported improvement in symptoms of multiple sclerosis with stem cell therapy. Twenty patients having multiple sclerosis were enrolled for this trial and they were given stem cell treatment. All the 21 patients were followed for 37 months to access the effectiveness of stem cell therapy. Burt found that 17 patients (80%) improved after stem cell therapy and improvement was noted in vision, muscles strength and other neurological parameters by using standard testing. The remaining 4 patients did not show improvement in their symptoms but it was of significant note that none of the four patient had deteriorated. This clinical trialand many other successful trials have established the role of stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis.
How Stem Cell Therapy Improves Multiple Sclerosis
Stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis is aimed at correcting the defect of immune system of the body that reacts against its own tissues. In stem cell therapy, immune stem cells are collected from patients’ blood. After collecting immune stem cells, patient is given some medicines that destroy immune cells reacting against body’s own tissues. After destroying self-reacting immune cells, immune stem cells are injected which grow and replace the destroyed bad cells. In this way new immune system doesn’t destroys the myelin sheath of the neurons and patients’ symptoms improve with passage of time.
Stem Cell Therapy For Multiple Sclerosis – Current Situation
Stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis is now a recommended treatment that addresses the root cause of the disease i.e. autoimmunity. A number of patients having multiple sclerosis are being treated with stem cell therapy round the globe. Several hospitals offer stem cell therapy in different countries like china, France, UK and USA. Mexico is top-rated due to its greater success and safety in providing stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis and other diseases. Our centers in Tijuana and Guadalajara are offering stem cell therapy using cord blood that is 100% successful with no ethical issues. Anybody in any region of the world having multiple sclerosis can get best stem cell therapy in Mexico by traveling to our centers in Tijuana and Guadalajara. It’s a fact that stem cell therapy can change life of a patient with multiple sclerosis and he/she can live healthier life without fear of being crippled.