Stem cells have been in the center of a heated debate for well over a decade now. The scientific community is currently fascinated by these cells not only because of their peculiar nature but because of the fact that they have the potential to transform into any other cell type we want them to. Just this “tiny” fact about them makes stem cells one of the most valuable and groundbreaking research niches in the modern era. Of course, as we keep learning more and more about them we try to focus the current knowledge towards treatments for different sort of degenerative diseases and more specifically for a possible stem cell treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
A Combined Effort
In the scientific community stem cells have created quite the noise recently due to a few articles that claimed promising results towards the treatment of MS with stem cells (more specifically – mesenchymal stem cells). Those encouraging clinical findings have to first be backed up with some more work to be able to ultimately claim their safe and effective way of handling MS.
We here at Cord Blood Banking Today are focused on the newest results and newest cord blood and stem cell technologies and news, thus we encourage and even sponsor such clinical trials. We also want to play a role in the public part of things. We want to familiarize people with the potential risks and side effects of stem cell treatments and let them fully understand how stem cells work. So let’s get on with this.
Stem Cells And Their Role In Curing MS
Stem cells are a type of cells which basically “give birth” to all other cell types (skin cells, organ cells, neurons, etc.). They practically renew all your body cells on a daily basis. Now you may start to wonder “why not manipulate those cells to create the exact cells we need to be replaced”, right? Well, this is exactly what the focus of stem cells research is – to be able to use donated stem cells and plant them in a person. Then the cells can locate the damaged part of his body and heal it up.
Such cases include using cord blood stem cells from your baby to treat various symptoms and diseases in other members of the family (or that same baby but when grown up). If you want to read more on that, head out to our main article on the topic by clicking here.
Stem Cell Therapies And Treatments
Stem cell treatment is a treatment in which stem cells are the main target or are being used as a form of cure. As we said, this is done to repair damaged parts of your internal organs, neural system, etc. The interesting thing here is that stem cell therapies can be done in order to prevent future damage from happening. The treatment for MS revolves more around the healing process and not the prevention one.
Since MS is a disease which damages the myelin wrapping of the nerve cells it takes a special kind of stem cells to come and fix the issue. The research of that specific process is in its early stages but there already are clinics that perform such treatments. Our storage centers work with such clinics and the doctors in them to provide constant support to you and your family. If your physician needs a consultation or just needs a part of your stored cord blood stem cells, we have teams that are ready to respond in minutes.
When it comes to how safe and/or efficient those treatments are, it is quite unknown as of now. Still, most of them perform clinical trials and the results are incredibly promising. Stem cells in general have few side effects. Moreover, patients with MS currently have no real alternatives so this is their best bet and we are sure that its a bet that will pay off in the near future.
This is again an opportunity to emphasize on how important storing your baby’s umbilical blood is. It is vastly rich on stem cells and (if properly stored) can be used decades after being stored for your kids, you or your loved ones. Generally speaking, stem cell transplants have the highest success and match rates in close family members. This is why storing cord blood is a good insurance policy for the health of your family.
The AHSCT (or Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant) treatment is the only one which shows solid results at this point. There are tons of clinical trials and research findings backing up the therapeutic effects of stem cells on MS patients. In its core, it’s an immunosuppressive chemotherapy. Basically, what doctors do to your body is destroy the immune system completely and then re-populate it with blood and immune stem cells from your bone marrow. That way the basically create a brand new system which can tackle sophisticated issues faster and easier. Consider it as a restart button on your immune system.
This sort of treatment has been used in Australia and only for people with advanced (or aggressive) forms of MS.
Another approach to curing MS is via mesenchymal stem cell therapy. It, unlike the previous method, doesn’t involve chemotherapy and uses another type of stem cell which can be also isolated from body fat. Mesenchymal stem cells have the potential to grow into muscle, cells, connective tissue cells and even nerve cells. They also produce growth factors which further influences your immune system.
All in all, both methods have been showing promising results and our team of specialists are constantly being updated by the research team’s leading those trials. This is done in order to have the most information for any situations where you or your family need our assistance.