See you again here good people…here we will discuss the most interesting part of stem cell treatment for MS patients, what are MS patients ? MS patients are the people who’s got a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, which are caused by an immune mediated attack targeting components of the myelin sheath. It is considered an autoimmune disease because the patient’s own immune system creates inflammation in the brain or spinal cord. The myelin sheath is known to act as an “insulator” for neurons so that they can communicate properly with each other. When the insulation (myelin sheath) around the nerves is damaged they “short-circuit” and cannot function properly. This damage causes messages to and from the brain to be slowed, distorted or stopped altogether. This is what leads to the symptoms of MS, damage to the myelin sheath is caused MS attacks. In these attacks, symptoms flare up and last for anything from 24 hours to several months. Over time, if nerve fibers themselves become damaged, or destroyed completely, this can lead to ‘progression’ of the MS and an increase in disability, scarring and death of the neurons may lead to permanent disabilities.
Symptoms of MS vary among individuals, Depending on the stage of the illness and its prognosis, and include problems with balance, walking, coordination (clumsiness), numbness (pins and needles, dead feeling), speech impairment, facial weakness, vision (blurred, dimmed or lack or reduced colour perception), bladder and sexual dysfunction, constipation and cognitive or emotional problems. Both environmental triggers (such as unknown factors during pregnancy, vitamin D production, higher socioeconomic status, smoking) and genetic factors (over 50 susceptibility genes, multiple inherited genes) are thought to play a role in the development of MS.
To our knowledge, no stem cell therapy has received Health Canada or U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for treatment multiple sclerosis (MS) at this time. Patients who are researching their options may come across companies with Web sites or materials that say otherwise and offer fee-based stem cell treatments for curing this disease. Many of these claims are not supported by sound scientific evidence and patients considering these therapies are encouraged to review some of the links below before making crucial decisions about their treatment plan.
At present there are no treatments that specifically target the abnormal immune responses in MS. Current approaches, such as interferon, copaxone, or immune suppressants all act in a non‐specific manner blocking immune responses against the myelin sheath. While these approaches are useful for reducing the severity of disease, they do not repair the damage to nervous system tissue that has already occurred and therefore they cannot cure multiple sclerosis. Currently, the University of Cambridge is conducting formal clinical studies using mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of MS.
The adult stem cells used to treat MS at the Stem Cell Institute are called allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells. This stem cell treatment is designed to target the myelin sheath by introducing adult mesenchymal stem cells past the blood brain barrier so they may differentiate into and repair the myelin sheath nerve cells. This process is called remyelination. They are harvested from human umbilical cords donated after normal, healthy births. Each mother is tested for infectious diseases and has her medical history screened. Proper consent is received from each family prior to donation. Before they are approved for use in treatment all umbilical cord-derived stem cells are screened for infectious diseases to International Blood Bank Standards. Further, being that Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune condition, adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to repair the immune system; keeping it from attacking itself. This process is referred to as immunomodulation. Through remyelination and immunomodulation, we always hope the best to move forward in order to mproving the quality of lives of patients dealing with Multiple Sclerosis.