In the United States, nearly one million people suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS). That is nearly one in 330 people nationwide. While the condition is not exceedingly common, it also cannot be classified as rare. The current number of people who have MS has doubled which is why more researchers have been delving into ways to treat the condition. For MS, the mean age of patients at the time of diagnosis is 34 years. The vast majority of patients are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50. However, MS has also been known to affect children and teenagers. In this article, we are going to talk about the stem cell transplant benefits for patients with MS.
The Slowing of Progression
Much of the research and medical development for MS have been focused on slowing the progression of the disease. There are currently several medications on the market that are geared toward doing just that. There has also been stem cell research done that has shown positive results.
While many drugs have succeeded in slowing the progression rate of MS, one important downside is the cost. Long-term use of these medications can affect a patient’s budget. If remission is gained, however, the patient can discontinue those drugs indefinitely.
One experiment involved patients from four countries, including the United States. All of the patients were given chemotherapy. Following this treatment, half were given drugs and the other half were administered stem cell therapy.
All patients that received the stem cell injections were clear from recurring symptoms after a year. Only six out of 52 had recurring symptoms after three years. The results of this experiment were released just a few years ago and have garnered the attention of researchers, as well as the desire for more trials.
Stem cell therapy for the treatment of MS has been around for longer than most people realize. It began in the 1990s with hematopoietic stem cells, or HSC transplants, for patients that were not responding well to the conventional medications given at the time.
The method used for some of these trials was immunoablation. This is the process of partially destroying a faulty immune system and then replacing it with newer, healthier cells. Researchers have used it in further studies based on its early encouraging results. With this in mind, there may be hope on the horizon for the use of stem cells to achieve remission. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation contact a care coordinator today!