Stem Cell Therapy: Modern Medicine’s Promising Future For MS Treatment
MS research shows that adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy may potentially repair the damage and inflammation seen in the nervous system of patients with MS. During an autoimmune reaction, the myelin sheath coating which is formed around the axons of neurons slowly deteriorates, thus causing physical and cognitive impairments. By calming down the autoimmune attack and attenuating inflammation, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy may halt the progression, and potentially reverse the damage of MS.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the potential of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in treating the different types of MS. In Saudi Arabia, a group of researchers published the literature review, “The Immunomodulatory and Neuroprotective Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE): A Model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS),” describing how MSCs prevent progressive damage in mice induced with MS. The cells secrete soluble factors that inhibit the T-cells contributing to the autoimmune attack, thus protecting neurons from further damage.
In the study, “Mesenchymal Properties of SJL Mice-Stem Cells and Their Efficacy as Autologous Therapy in a Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Model,” researchers in Spain isolated MSCs from one mouse and transplanted the cells into another mouse with an experimental model of relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis. The mice receiving cells rather than saline as a control exhibited lower clinical scores and slower disease progression. These results were confirmed with another mouse strain, demonstrating the robustness of treatment.
Additional evidence comes from a group of researchers and clinicians from the United Kingdom who treated MS patients in the study, “Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: An Open-Label Phase 2a Proof-of-Concept Study.”
Research findings show that intravenous administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cells to patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is feasible and safe and suggests structural, functional, and physiological improvement in patients after receiving treatment with autologous mesenchymal stem cells which is consistent with remyelination. In addition, patients experienced enhanced visual acuity.
Dr. Andre Lallande, Medical Director of StemGenex Medical Group and Principal Investigator of the observational study “Outcomes Data of Adipose Stem Cells to Treat Multiple Sclerosis,” evaluates the quality of life changes measured by the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Inventory (MSQLI) in individuals following mesenchymal adipose-derived stem cell therapy. The minimally invasive surgical procedure consists of cell isolation, activation, and re-administration, where the patient’s own stem cells are administered via full body IV and through additional customized administrations. “I am excited to be a part of a study that investigates enhancing the body’s ability to regulate and heal itself,” said Dr. Lallande.
Recently, the REGROW Act was introduced by U.S. Senators and House Representatives, bipartisan legislation to accelerate the development of stem cell therapies, which have the potential to fully restore or establish normal function in damaged human cells, tissues and organs for those living with diseases and untreatable conditions. “The development of regenerative medical treatments is one of the most exciting aspects of modern medicine,” said U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colorado), in a press release.
The REGROW Act is legislation designed to establish a unique regulatory pathway tailored specifically for stem cell therapies which can reduce both the time and cost of delivering safe and effective stem cell therapies to patients. “Groundbreaking new achievements in regenerative medicine therapies are reached every day, but they get stalled in the FDA approval process because the treatments are often too personal to scale up to large clinical trials,” said Mark Takai, in a press release. “Regenerative medicine is based on specific patient needs, using a patient’s own cells to grow healthy tissue to treat often fatal diseases. This bill cuts through the bureaucratic red tape.”
This issue is so important that the two Houses of Congress from both main political parties introduced the bills, S 2689 and HR 4762. “Bipartisan Policy Center commends Senators Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Representatives Mike Coffman (R-Colorado), Mark Takai (D-Hawaii), and Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia) for their collaboration and introduction of the REGROW Act,” said Janet Marchibroda, in a press release.
Stem cell therapy is one of the most exciting aspects of modern medicine and with time, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy may potentially become the standard of care given to MS patients today.
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