Stem Cell Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

There are various stem cell treatments for muscular dystrophy. Adult stem cells are being used to repair damaged myelin. Studies are also being conducted using stem cells from bone marrow in order to restore the immune system.

Multiple sclerosis, otherwise known as MS, is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system. Many people believe multiple sclerosis to be an autoimmune disease, a condition in which your immune system attacks parts of your body as if they were foreign.

In MS, the body sends antibodies and white blood cells to attack proteins in the myelin sheath, a fatty substance that coats the nerve fibers in your brain and spinal cord. This causes inflammation and damage to the sheath and then to the nerves it surrounds. This damage can slow or even totally block the nerve signals that control muscle coordination, sensation, strength, and vision.

Adult stem cells are now being used to repair damaged myelin. Studies are also being conducted using stem cells from bone marrow in order to replace the immune system. In these trials, strong drugs are used to knock out the body’s natural immune system. The patient’s bone marrow is then replaced (using bone marrow stem cells from that patient) to build up a brand new immune system. It is hoped this will prevent further damage caused by the disease.

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