A recent clinical trial involving stem cells may provide some hope for people who suffer from the debilitating disease known as multiple sclerosis. Stem cell research has become quite a controversial subject. But the advances made recently through it may be showing that it does indeed hold a promise of being able to provide effective treatments for some of the more puzzling disorders affecting many people such as MS.
The said clinical trial involved six multiple sclerosis patients who were injected with stem cells that were harvested from their own bone marrows. The said trial is considered to be a world’s first and was conducted at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol. The results show some very encouraging signs.
The study was done by the research team from the University of Bristol headed by Neil Scolding, Professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the said university. The team used bone marrow stem cells because several experimental studies have shown that it has some beneficial effects in disease models of MS.
The study also explored the feasibility of cell therapy in patients with MS. The patients were put under general anesthesia during the time when their bone marrow was harvested. The marrow cells were then filtered and prepared for injecting into the veins of the subjects on the same day. The study found that injecting the stem cells on the participants increased nerve function by about 20 percent.
The said study provided a more ethical means of using stem cells for new possible therapies. Since the stem cells came from each of the participants themselves, ethical issues on the said subject no longer applies. However, a larger scale study may be needed to further assess the effectiveness of the stem cell therapy in treating MS.