Welcome to “MS News Notes,” a Monday morning column where I comment on multiple sclerosis (MS) news stories that caught my eye last week. Here’s a look at what’s been happening: Another study shows positive results with stem cell therapy. Yet another study has concluded that autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (aHSCT) was highly effective in treating some people with MS. The MS News Today article "Stem cell therapy highly effective in active RRMS: Real-world study" reports that nearly 80% of participants with highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) were relapse-free two years after they were treated with aHSCT, according to a small study in Denmark. They also had no worsening of their disease. More than 69% achieved a clinical outcome called NEDA-3, which means there was no evidence of disease activity — including no relapses or worsening disability, and no new or enlarging lesions seen on MRI scans. Given this and other studies, I really wish aHSCT were made readily available as a treatment option for people with MS in the United States. Could a genetic variant explain differences in MS severity? While MS is not considered to be an inherited disease (I'm one of many people with MS who have no family history of it), studies continue to report apparent genetic connections. The article "Newly discovered genetic variant tied to faster MS progression" reports on a study involving more than 12,500 people across three continents. From that study, researchers identified a genetic variant that was associated with faster MS progression and greater brain tissue damage. One of the study's authors said that “inheriting this genetic variant from both parents accelerates the time to needing a walking aid by almost four years." To me, that's big news. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society notes that understanding more about the relationship between genes and MS "could revolutionize the way this disease is diagnosed and treated." The society lists ongoing studies of this subject on its website, some of which are accepting participants. Might that be something that interests you? Plants are good, red meat is bad for MS, a study says. The report titled "Diet rich in plant products linked to fewer symptoms in MS" is intriguing but, unfortunately, isn't good news for me. I dislike most green vegetables and love red meat. The story confirms anecdotal reports I've read about for years from people with MS who swear that they're helped by plant-based diets. To conduct the study reported on in this story, 163 people in Denmark completed at least three weeks of digitally recording what they ate each day. (Participants were asked to digitally record their food intake and symptoms daily over a period of 100 days; three weeks was the minimum set by study criteria.) Those on a plant-rich diet reported a reduction of 19%-90% of their symptom burden, compared with those eating red meat and processed meat products. It'll be hard to teach this old dog new diet tricks. I don't think I'd gain enough relief from MS symptoms in exchange for giving up a favorite food. But you might. Are you one of those who has benefited from a diet change? Please share in the comments below. Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.