Feb 22, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Multiple Sclerosis: Stem Cell Transplant Treatment, Principle, Risks

Feb 24, 2017 02:22 PM EST

Multiple sclerosis' aggressive progression can be altered with stem cell transplant. With the selection of the right patients, the treatment approach can be effective with nearly of those suffering from the disease.

According to Health Day, using stem cell transplant for multiple sclerosis is selective. Researchers found that the treatment plan can be very significant in patients, who are; not severely disabled and has not been relieved or responded to any treatment for the disease.

The stem cell transplant is not considered a cure for multiple sclerosis, as stated by Dr. Riccardo Saccardi. He is one of the authors of the study and practices of the cell therapy and transfusion medicine unit at Careggi University Hospital in Florence, Italy.  However, Saccardi added that the transplant is considered the best option for patients having aggressive MS and have not responded to approved treatments.

The researchers have reported that treating multiple sclerosis using stem cell transplant is fatal and risky in some cases. In fact, three percent of the patients almost died after receiving the transplant. The cause of the death is directly related to the cell transplant.

Furthermore, Canoe states that more than 600 people with multiple sclerosis have undergone clinical studies. These studies show that stem cell transplants can; delay disease progression, decrease nerve cell inflammation, reduce brain lesions, and improve disability scores.

The principle behind the treatment approach concerns the idea of immunology. Most scientists believe that multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system does not recognize and attacks body's own cells. In the case of MS, the body attacks the myelin coverings of the nerves hence, nerve networks are damaged.  Stem cell transplant provides a "new immune system" to the body which will not attack the body's protective myelin coverings.

Multiple sclerosis causes many symptoms and medications are available in suppressing it.  Saccardi and his team found that 46 percent of 281 patients who received stem cell transplant has survived. The survival is free from disease progression and continuous for five years after transplant. More studies and trials are needed to further evaluate the treatment platform.

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