Multiple sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory neurological disease of the central nervous system that affects from 250,000 to 350,000 patients in the U.S. Typically presents in adults 20 to
45 years of age; occasionally, it presents in childhood or late middle age.
Multiple sclerosis attacks the myelinated axons in the central nervous system, destroying the myelin and the axons to varying degrees. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. The course of multiple sclerosis is highly varied and unpredictable. In most patients, multiple sclerosis is characterized initially by episodes of reversible neurological deficits, which is often followed by progressive neurological deterioration over time. The cause of multiple sclerosis appears to involve a combination of genetic susceptibility and a no genetic trigger (virus, metabolism, or environmental factors), that together result in a self-sustaining autoimmune disorder that leads to recurrent immune attacks on the central nervous system.
Over time, therapeutic approaches to multiple sclerosis were addressed to suppress the immune system to control the inflammatory process that causes the demyelination and axonal damage. However, the multiple sclerosis treatments available to date are only partially effective.
There are many types of stem cells that are undergoing research and which are producing knowledge about their potential use in treating multiple sclerosis. Many of these studies involve adult mesenchymal stem cells, which are present in many tissues of the body, including bone marrow and fat (adipose tissue).
The use of multipotent stem cells may provide an alternative solution because stem cells can migrate locally into damaged central nervous system areas where they have the potential to support local neurogenesis or myelogenesis through neurotrophic effects, stimulation of resident central neuron system stem cells.
Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, has been used in attempts to “reboot” the immune system, which is believed to launch attacks on the brain and spinal cord in people with Multiple sclerosis. In Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, these stem cells (derived from a person’s own bone marrow or blood) are stored, and reintroduced usually by infusion into the vein.
Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to possess immunomodulating properties, inducing suppression of various immune cell populations. Mesenchymal stem cells cultivated can give rise to neural-like, glial-like, and astrocytic-like cells in vitro. In animal models, intravenous or intracerebral injection of Mesenchymal stem cells resulted in remyelination.
Experimentally, injection of Mesenchymal stem cells was shown to downregulate the clinical severity of the disease and to suppress central nervous system inflammation through induction of T-cell anergy and decrease of demyelination. In some studies it has also been shown that intraventricularly injected Mesenchymal stem cells migrated to the white matter lesions in correlation with the degree of inflammation and induced neuroprotection, with preservation of the axons.
Clinical trials have revealed the feasibility and safety of the clinical use of Mesenchymal stem cells and have provided some evidence of efficacy in various medical conditions.
Studies with autologous bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells, showed the following neuroradiological effect of Mesenchymal stem cells transplantation: dissemination of mesenchymal stem cells from the injection site to the ventricles of the Central Nervous System. The immunological effects observed in most patients were stronger than those induced by the conventional immunomodulatory medications and indicate a downregulation of activated lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells and the proliferative ability of effector cells after Mesenchymal stem cells transplantation.
There is exciting progress being made through innovative research related to the potential of many types of stem cells both for slowing Multiple sclerosis disease activity and for repairing damage to the nervous system.
With the urgent need for more effective treatments for Multiple sclerosis, particularly for those with more progressive forms of the disease, Stem Cells Transplant Institute believes that the potential of all types of cell therapies must be explored, and we aim to provide a secure environment and excellent professionals for your needs.