Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Multiple Sclerosis: Recent Evidence from Preclinical to Clinical Studies

Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Multiple Sclerosis: Recent Evidence from Preclinical to Clinical Studies

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease that attacks myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerves and causes progressive and serious communication issues between the brain, central nervous system, and the rest of the body[1].

Currently, it’s estimated that over 2.3 million people worldwide, and over one million people in the US have a diagnosis of MS[2].

While there have been significant improvements in treatments designed to stabilize, delay, and even improve symptoms of MS, new and more effective treatments are needed to improve the long-term outcome associated with the condition. 

One area currently being investigated as a potential therapeutic option for treating MS is the use of regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, and specifically treatment using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). 

In this review of evidence from preclinical and clinical studies, Gugliandolo et al. examine studies involving the use of MSCs or their derivatives in vivo models of MS and patients affected by MS. The authors also examine and discuss the feasibility of autologous MSCs therapy for MS patients.

Specifically, and when assessed in terms of effectiveness when treating MS, the therapeutic potential of MSCs was associated with their differentiation capacity and paracrine effects, their ability to differentiate toward oligodendrocytes and express oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) markers, and their capacity for homing (moving towards the damaged area following chemical gradients).

As part of this review, the authors also examined the effectiveness of various sources of MSC in MS models, these sources included bone marrow MSCs (BM-MSCs), adipose tissue-derived MSCs (AD-MSCs), periodontal ligament stem cells (PDLSCs), skin-derived MSCs (S-MSCs), Wharton’s jelly-derived MSCs (WJ-MSCs), human umbilical cord MSCs (UCMSC), human amnion mesenchymal cells (AMCs), placental derived MSCs (PMSCs), and decidua derived MSCs (DMSCs).  According to the research reviewed by Gugliandolo et al., all MSCs, regardless of where they were harvested from, demonstrated beneficial effects in the therapeutic treatment of MS.

Specifically, the results demonstrated that MSCs were able to produce some form of protective effects in reducing inflammatory cell infiltration, disease score, demyelination, and blood-brain barrier disruption.

A review of 29 phase 1 or 2 clinical trials registered on clinicaltrials.gov demonstrated that MSCs, regardless of the type and method of administration, demonstrated to be safe and absent of severe adverse effects with the majority demonstrating measurable improvements when used in MS patients.

While clinical trials demonstrated the safety of administration of MSC in MS patients, the authors were particularly interested in learning if autologous MSC transplantation presented some advantages over heterologous administration. 

The authors of this review found that samples obtained from healthy controls and MS patients showed similar features, indicating the possibility of autologous stem cell therapy in MS patients. However, other studies found that MSCs obtained from MS patients exhibited a different transcriptional pattern and fewer immunosuppressive functions compared to healthy donor MSCs.

Gugliandolo et al. point out that limits to these experimental studies include the use of animals of a single gender, given that sex-dependent differences exist and the use of different MS models, different number of transplanted cells, different MSCs sources, and routes of administration.  These limitations make it difficult to define the optimal treatment in terms of cell type, dose, and administration conditions.

The authors conclude that clinical trials demonstrate the safety and feasibility of MSCs treatment, and also some improvements, but more data on larger cohorts are required to establish their efficacy. Considering the controversial results pertaining to the features of MSCs derived from MS patients, the authors also call for additional research in order to conclusively determine the safety and efficacy of autologous MSCs therapy in MS patients.

Source: “Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Multiple Sclerosis – NCBI.” 17 Nov. 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7698327/.


[1] “Multiple sclerosis – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic.” 7 Jan. 2022, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350269.

[2] “Understanding MS | National Multiple Sclerosis Society.” https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/MS-FAQ-s.

MS Spasticity – 5 Stretches You Should Try and Why

MS Spasticity – 5 Stretches You Should Try and Why

Muscle spasticity is one of the most challenging symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Patients with MS often experience a tightening or stiffening of the lower body muscles in the legs, groin, buttocks, and back. 

Muscle spasticity can affect the ability to stand, walk, and balance and is one of the biggest detriments to a patient’s quality of life. Muscle spasticity can worsen during quick stretches or movements. However, when done correctly, gentle stretches can help patients manage spasticity effectively. 

Hip Crossovers

While lying on your back, bend your knees at a 45-degree angle, draw them together, and gently let both knees lower to one side, holding for 30 seconds. Then pull the knees back to the center and slowly lower them to the other side. 

In this hip stretch, your goal is to decrease tightness, not get your knees to the floor, so only lower them as far as it feels okay. Keep your arms out to the side in a “T,” palms down. Move slowly.

Hip Flexor Stretches

Lying on your back, rest on the lower half of your bed with your knees and lower legs hanging off the edge. You should feel a stretch in your hip flexors located at the front of your hip. Aim to build up to a 30-second, then 60-second hold. 

Calf Stretches

Placing a rolled-up towel on the floor, step on the towel with the ball of your foot, keeping your weight on the back of the foot. Then, step the opposite foot slightly forward, still maintaining the weight on the back of the foot, stretching the calf.

Foot Rolls

When seated, place a rubber ball on the floor and roll your foot over the ball, paying particular attention to places on your foot that lack feeling or feel disengaged.

Ankle Stretches 

While seated, hold a rolled towel at both ends, wrapping the towel under one foot. Lift the foot and towel with both hands and try to keep the leg extended for up to 30 seconds.

Tips for Exercising with Muscle Spasticity

Muscle spasticity affects everyone differently. If you experience muscle spasticity when extending your legs, avoid stretches that straighten the knee and hip to that point. Also, patients who incorporate stretches regularly see the most benefits and better movement. 

If you take an anti-spasticity drug, exercise about an hour after taking your medication, and have your dosage checked regularly as spasticity changes.

If your spasticity worsens, or you’re not finding relief from the suggested exercises, schedule time with a physical therapist to learn about the best exercises for your needs.

Examining the Link Between the Epstein-Barr Virus and MS

Examining the Link Between the Epstein-Barr Virus and MS

The neurodegenerative condition known as multiple sclerosis (MS) causes chronic inflammation within the central nervous system. For decades, clinicians and researchers have tirelessly studied MS to understand the condition better and develop more effective treatments.

Recently, researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health concluded a study that examined the link between the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and multiple sclerosis. They found “compelling evidence of causality” between EBV and MS.

Researchers analyzed data from over 10 million active-duty U.S. military personnel during the study. Of these participants, 955 received an MS diagnosis while serving. 

Researchers reviewed serum samples that were collected biennially in order to check for the presence of EBV. As a result of the study, researchers discovered that soldiers were 32 times more likely to develop MS after experiencing an EBV infection.

However, it is essential to note that MS symptoms typically do not manifest until approximately ten years after patients acquire an EBV infection. Researchers theorized that this delayed onset might be partially attributed to ineffective MS diagnosis protocols, as early symptoms are difficult to detect.

What This Means for MS Patients

Currently, no effective EBV infection treatments or preventatives exist. However, researchers are optimistic that the development of an EBV vaccine or antivirals could pave the way for a multiple sclerosis cure.

In the meantime, patients suffering from MS should continue to work with their primary care providers to mitigate the impact of symptoms and slow the progression of the condition.

For those seeking an alternative treatment option, stem cell therapy has shown some promise for treating neurodegenerative conditions like MS. Stem cell therapy may yield several positive benefits such as a reduction in muscle spasticity, improved balance, increased energy, and reduced muscle pain.

Multiple Sclerosis Stretching and Balancing Exercises

Multiple Sclerosis Stretching and Balancing Exercises

What if there was one simple thing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients could do every day to increase energy levels, reduce fatigue, and help prevent the chance of injury from falls? 

Great news—there are simple exercises you can do at home without expensive gym memberships or special equipment. Try these stretching, strengthening, and balance moves to help improve your overall wellness. 

Marching in Place for Balance

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Contract your abdominal muscles, and slowly bring one knee off the floor in a marching position. Lift the thigh parallel to the floor if you can. 

Pause for a count of three, and slowly lower the leg. Repeat on the other side. Continue for five repetitions, working your way up to 10–15 repetitions.

Wall Push-Ups for Stretching and Upper-Body Strength

Stand or sit facing a wall, approximately two feet away, with your feet together. Place both palms flat on the wall with arms straight at shoulder height, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. 

Lean in, keeping elbows tucked to your sides. Bring your nose close to the wall, and feel the gentle stretching in your calves and chest. Hold for one breath, checking to make sure your back is straight. 

Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat three times, building to as many repetitions as you can.

Single-Leg Pose for Balance

Do this exercise while holding onto a chair or table for stability, especially if you have problems with balance or are receiving treatment for a neurodegenerative condition

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms parallel to the floor, keeping one hand on a stable surface. Straighten one leg in front of you with your heel a few inches off the floor. 

Hold and balance for up to 30 seconds. Lower your foot back to the ground. Repeat on both legs for three repetitions.

Over Head Press for Upper-Body Strength

Use lightweight dumbbells for this exercise. If you don’t have weights, try using soup cans or full water bottles.

Holding your weights, stand (or sit) with a straight posture, arms out to your sides, and bent upward with your hands at ear height. Stretch your arms up, keeping your back straight and lifting the dumbbells over your head. Your biceps should be close to your ears. Return to the starting position. Repeat ten times.

For more health awareness blogs, please visit www.stemedix.com/blog.

Stem Cells Can Help Patients With MS

Stem Cells Can Help Patients With MS

As one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS) affects millions of patients. This progressive condition can cause everything from muscle weakness to double vision. Regenerative medicine is showing new potential when it comes to treating multiple sclerosis. Read on to learn more about how stem cells can help patients with MS.

What Happens During Multiple Sclerosis Flares?

In multiple sclerosis, a person’s immune system attacks the myelin of their nerve fibers. Myelin is a material that forms a protective layer, or sheath, around nerve fibers and shields them from damage. When the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, it causes inflammation and lesions that make it difficult for the brain to send signals throughout the rest of the body.

While there is no cure for multiple sclerosis, patients may undergo a wide variety of treatments to manage their symptoms. This may include physical therapy, immunosuppressants, steroids, and beta-blockers. Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, is also showing great potential when it comes to managing multiple sclerosis and its symptoms.

Stem Cells and Multiple Sclerosis

Regenerative medicine works within the body at a cellular level, stimulating a healing response that can address certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Various types of stem cells have the potential to regenerate lost or damaged cells, including those that form the myelin sheath. This has the potential to improve the lives of MS patients, whose myelin layers have been damaged by inflammation. 

The following are three types of stem cells that can be used to treat multiple sclerosis:

Haematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs)

Haematopoietic stem cells are adult stem cells found in the blood and bone marrow. These cells play an active role in immune function.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are present in umbilical cords and fat tissue. These cells help promote the function of other stem cells throughout the body.

Neural Stem Cells (NSCs)

Neural stem cells are specialized stem cells that can repair the myelin in the brain. These cells can come from other stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells.

How Can Stem Cell Therapy Manage MS Symptoms?

Stem cell therapy can modulate the immune system, temporarily disabling the abnormal attacks on myelin tissue. When the immune system is no longer destroying healthy myelin cells surrounding nerve fibers, it can help slow the progression of multiple sclerosis conditions and potentially improve symptoms.

When patients receive stem cell therapy to treat their multiple sclerosis, they may experience some of the following benefits:

  • Reduction of muscle spasticity
  • Increased energy
  • Improved balance
  • Enhanced concentration
  • Decrease in visual disturbances
  • Improved range of motion
  • Reduction of muscle pain

While stem cell therapy has the potential to manage MS symptoms, it is still considered an experimental treatment and can not guarantee a cure. Although stem cell therapy is not FDA approved, there has been research to suggest it is safe and patients result in positive outcomes. Patients must have realistic expectations when choosing regenerative medicine for multiple sclerosis but it may be an option worth exploring. If you are interested in learning more about how Stem cells can help patients with MS, contact us today and speak with a care coordinator.

What Are the Early Warning Signs of MS?

What Are the Early Warning Signs of MS?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the spinal cord and brain. MS causes the immune system to attack the myelin–the protective cover that shields nerve fibers. This attack can prevent your brain from communicating effectively with the rest of your body. In time, MS can permanently damage the nerves, resulting in disability. There is currently no cure for MS, but treatments are available to help manage the disease and decrease symptoms. Here we talk about the early warning signs of MS.

Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis: CIS

MS can be a difficult condition to diagnose early. One reason is that the symptoms present differently from person to person. The first episode most people experience is referred to as a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). 

A CIS typically lasts only 24 hours and occurs when the immune system tells the body to attack myelin. The process is also referred to as demyelination. CIS may cause scarring or leave lesions that make it even more difficult for the brain and body to communicate.

The most common symptoms of CIS include optic neuritis (blurry vision, a dulling of colors, and eye pain) and numbness or tingling in the legs. Those affected may experience only one symptom, known as a monofocal episode, or multiple symptoms, known as a multifocal episode.

CIS is a precursor to MS, but not everyone who experiences a CIS will contract multiple sclerosis. However, if you suspect you’ve had a CIS, it is important to review this information with your specialist. 

Primary MS Symptoms

Once the myelin is damaged, a host of other symptoms may occur. Early in the disease, symptoms may be mild and controlled through medication and other therapies.

Early symptoms include the following:

  • Bladder and bowel problems (frequent urination, constipation)
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Emotional changes, fear, and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eye problems
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle spasms
  • Sexual dysfunction (Loss of libido, vaginal dryness, erectile problems)
  • Overheating
  • Cognitive problems
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Gait and balance problems (trouble walking)

Primary symptoms can lead to secondary and tertiary symptoms, such as getting a bladder infection because you can’t empty your bladder completely or injure yourself from losing balance.

When to Seek Help – If you suspect you’ve experienced a CIS and are exhibiting early warning signs of MS, seek expert medical advice as soon as possible. Both traditional and cutting-edge therapies are most effective when started early. Regenerative medicine, also referred to as stem cell therapy, may have potential as an alternative therapy that improves symptoms without heavy medication.

WordPress Image Lightbox
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!

Request Information Packet

We'll send your FREE information packet that outlines our entire personalized, stress-free stem cell treatment process!

Thanks for your interest!