Science is still unlocking the potential healing benefits of regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy. Several studies are currently underway to explore stem cell therapy to help manage multiple sclerosis (MS).
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the brain and the spinal cord. As a result, the protective layer that insulates nerve fibers, called myelin, sustains damage.
The damaged myelin and nerve fibers confuse and interrupt the body’s communication signals. As a result, patients with MS experience various unpredictable symptoms, including numbness, memory problems, blindness, and paralysis.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
In the world of cells, stem cells are “blank slates.” Stem cells exist throughout the body, and when they divide, they can either make more stem cells or differentiate into a specialized type of cell, like a skin cell or muscle cell.
Stem cells’ unique ability to differentiate is why they’re so powerful. Scientists can direct stem cells to differentiate into the specific cells needed to regenerate and repair damaged tissue in the right conditions.
What Are Mesenchymal Stem Cells?
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are mainly found in an adult’s bone marrow and present in the skin and fat tissue. They are multipotent, meaning they can divide and develop into multiple specialized cell types. MSCs are particularly important in repairing skeletal tissues, such as cartilage, bone, and the fat found in the bone marrow.
How Are Mesenchymal Stem Cells Treating MS?
Most studies explore MSCs in treating MS by using a patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells.
In a Cleveland Clinic and Stanford University study, extracted MSCs were treated to secrete neuroprotective factors. After their reintroduction, patients saw improvements in cognition, vision, mobility, and other factors.
In a trial at Tisch MS Research Center of New York, patients’ MSCs were directed to create “neural progenitor cells.” After the differentiated cells were reintroduced into the patients, they noticed increased strength in certain muscle groups, improved bladder symptoms, and increased walking speeds.
Promising Results Lead to Further Studies
Several phase one and phase two clinical trials have demonstrated beneficial results from MSC stem cell therapies, and more studies are on the horizon. In addition, scientists are still researching the most effective methods to differentiate and reintroduce stem cells and the various ways they can offer MS patients symptom relief.
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.