Possible stem cells benefits for multiple sclerosis treatment
As it is known, bone marrow contains stem cells capable of replacing cells
in many types of tissues and organs. And it was not an exception for
the research team, led by Neil Scolding, Burden Professor of Clinical
Neurosciences for the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS
Trust, to try to develop new treatments with bone marrow stem cells for many diseases, including those affecting the nervous system.
A group of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) was tested to have
possible benefits after the treatment with bone marrow stem cells. The participants
had a general anaesthetic during which bone marrow was harvested. The
marrow cells were filtered and prepared to be injected into the
patient's vein later the same day. The procedure was well tolerated.
The participants were followed up for almost a year. No serious
adverse effects were encountered. Clinical scores results were
consistent with stable disease, and neurophysiological tests results
showed the possibility of benefit.
The research team reported on the pioneering trial in an article
published online in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
Professor Neil Scolding reported the results of this study were
justified. The safety data was reassuring and the suggestion of benefit
tantalising. A larger study is required to assess the effectiveness of
bone marrow cellular therapy in treating MS.
After the trial the research team is aimed to begin translating their
findings from the laboratory to the clinic.