Multiple Sclerosis : Hope With Autologous Stem Cell
A U.S. team has achieved encouraging results in the fight against multiple sclerosis (MS) using a new technique of autotransplantation of stem cells extracted from bone marrow of the patient. The results of this clinical trial was conducted on 21 patients in the first phase of the disease have been published in the online version of Lancet Neurology.

This technique of transplantation of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant is the patient's own bone marrow cells. The cells are harvested from bone marrow and the patient receives a cocktail of immunosuppressive drugs' anti-rejection". The infusion of these stem cells is then performed intravenously. The latter will somehow "reset" the immune system.

In this study, 37 months after transplantation, 21 patients have experienced no worsening of their condition, and 17 of them have seen a significant reduction in their handicaps.

Approximately 80,000 people in France suffer from multiple sclerosis whose forms and trends vary greatly from one patient to another. Multiple sclerosis is characterized by destruction of myelin, the protective layer around nerve fibers that carries nerve impulses (see illustration below). Problems with coordination, vision problems, dizziness, motor problems are some of the symptoms of the disease.

It is an autoimmune disease, ie an immune attack via cell become aggressive, which attack the body itself (in this case myelin). Therefore, researchers try to "reset" the immune system by transplanting hematopoietic stem cells, derived from bone marrow precursors of red blood cells and white blood cells (which include the lymphocytes).


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