Stem Cell Breakthrough: A Promising Path Forward in Treating Progressive MS 

Stem Cell Breakthrough_ A Promising Path Forward in Treating Progressive MS

In a groundbreaking development, researchers from the University of Cambridge, the University of Milan Bicocca, and Hospital Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza in Italy have conducted an early clinical trial demonstrating the potential of stem cell therapy to protect the brain from further damage in progressive cases of multiple sclerosis (MS).

As of 2020, approximately 2.8 million people globally suffer from MS, a neurodegenerative condition where the immune system mistakenly attacks nerve fiber coverings.

The trial focused on 15 participants with secondary progressive MS, injecting neural stem cells obtained from the brain tissue of a single miscarried fetal donor directly into their brains. The participants, initially displaying high disability levels, were followed for 12 months.

Remarkably, none exhibited increased disability or worsened symptoms during this period, and none reported signs of relapse or significantly deteriorated cognitive function.

Dr. Stefano Pluchino, co-lead author and professor of regenerative neuroimmunology at the University of Cambridge, expressed cautious excitement about the findings, acknowledging the study’s limitations but emphasizing its significance in paving the way for future clinical trials.

Notably, the researchers observed that larger doses of injected neural stem cells correlated with smaller reductions in brain volume over time, suggesting a potential anti-inflammatory effect.

These promising results provide hope for developing effective treatments for secondary progressive MS. Despite the study’s limitations, including its small size and potential confounding effects, the therapy’s safety and sustained effects over the 12-month trial period indicate a positive direction for advancing to subsequent clinical trials.

The potential impact on inflammation reduction and protection of nerve cells opens new avenues for MS treatment, offering optimism for those living with progressive forms of the disease.

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      Harsha Sharma

      Harsha is a senior content writer with numerous hobbies who takes great pride in spreading kindness. Earning a Postgraduate degree in Microbiology, she invests her time reading and informing people about various topics, particularly health and lifestyle. She believes in continuous learning, with life as her inspiration, and opines that experiences enrich our lives.

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