U.S. researchers have reversed multiple sclerosis symptoms in early stage patients by using bone marrow stem cell transplants to reset the immune system.
Commenting on the study, Helen Yates, MSRC Chief Executive said, "This further piece of research into the use of stem cells with Multiple Sclerosis patients provides another piece of evidence that stem cells could one day provide clear therapies and treatments for MS. MSRC hopes that further work in this area proves as positive as this piece of research"
Some 81 percent of patients in the early phase study showed signs of improvement with the treatment, which used chemotherapy to destroy the immune system, and injections of the patient's bone marrow cells taken beforehand to rebuild it.
"We just start over with new cells from the stem cells," said Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University in Chicago, whose study appears in the journalLancet Neurology.
Multiple sclerosis occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin sheath protecting nerve cells. It affects 2.5 million people globally and can cause mild illness in some people and permanent disability in others.
Symptoms may include numbness or weakness in the limbs, loss of vision and an unsteady gait.
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