Bone Marrow Stem Cells may Hold Hope for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Society | September 28, 2007, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

Medical practitioners at the Frenchay hospital, near Bristol, are conducting clinical trials with stem cells drawn from patients' own bone marrow to see whether they can travel to damaged parts of the brain and repair them.

Tens of thousands of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) may benefit from the treatment if the tests become successful, say the researchers.

The researcher admit that they cannot say in how many months or years their treatment will begin to undo the damage caused by the incurable disease that affects the central nervous system, or whether it would actually work or not.

They, however, are confident that the stem cell therapy will be a major breakthrough for the people in who suffer from MS, many of whom are left wheelchair-bound and paralysed.

The trial started six months ago, and it involves six people with MS, aged between 30 and 60.

A pint of bone marrow is extracted from the patients' pelvises, and the process material containing stem cells is injected on the same day into their arms.

The patients will be monitored closely over a period of months, and will be given regular brain scans to see what impact the treatment has had on them.

The Frenchay trial avoids the ethical controversy that surrounds many stem cell studies, as human embryos are not being used in it.
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