From the National Institutes of Health
Immunosuppressive therapy followed by stem cell transplantation induced remission of a common form of multiple sclerosis over a 5-year follow-up period.
MS is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. It results in damage to nerve fibers, disrupting communication between the brain and the body.
The disease has a wide range of symptoms that include tingling or numbness in the limbs, movement and speech difficulties, weakness, fatigue, chronic pain, vision loss, and depression.
The most common form of MS is relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), which affects about 80% of people with the disease. It’s characterized by periods of mild or no symptoms interspersed with periods of more severe symptoms, called relapses.
It can change into a progressive form where symptoms worsen over time without any symptom-free periods. RRMS can be treated with drugs that suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. However, these drugs can cause serious side effects, are costly, and patients may become resistant to them over time.
One promising treatment for MS is HDIT/HCT (high-dose immunosuppressive therapy with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant). The goal of this therapy is to “reset” a person’s immune system so that it will stop attacking their central nervous system. [Read more…]