Individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a grim future in most cases. The progressive and incurable disease wages war on the human body’s central nervous system. It relentlessly attacks the brain and spinal cord leading to disability. Doctors do not yet know the exact cause of MS, thus making it very hard to develop a cure. There are treatments available to patients that’ll delay the overall progress of the disease. The problem with current popular treatments is that none of them cause long term remission.
Stem cell transplants may be the solution to the problem. Recent research into the potential of stem cell transplants as a treatment shows that the transplantation of a person’s own blood-forming stem cells can induce sustained remission when coupled with high-dose immunosuppressive therapy.
Nearly 70 percent of participants in the clinical trial reported that they’d experienced no MS progression or increase in symptom activity for five years after receiving high-dose immunosuppressive therapy and autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HDIT/HCT). The participants also went cold turkey from using MS medication. Most current MS medications haven’t come close to duplicating the positive results HDIT/HCT treatment. These findings strongly suggest that a single series of HDIT/HCT treatment is more effective than years of taking the most popular MS medication on the market.
Although further research is needed to work out the pros and cons of HDIT/HCT, stem cell transplants have definitely taken a small victory in the grand scheme of things.
About Dr. Shiva Gopal Vasishta
Dr. Shiva Gopal Vasishta is a New Jersey-based neurologist with ties to the Kennedy University Hospital. He is one of the relatively few neurologists that are affiliated with the hospital. He has been a practicing MD for over four decades.
Dr. Shiva received his medical degree from Government Medical College Nagpur in 1979 and finished his residency at Boston City Hospital.