Researchers from the Imperial College London have recently uncovered a new type of multiple sclerosis treatment which allegedly has the ability to reset the immune system has been found to "freeze" progression of the disease in nearly half of patients. The researchers have revealed that 46 percent of patients who underwent the treatment did not suffer a worsening of their condition for five years. Consequently, the experts believe that the treatment could give hope to the estimated 100,000 people in the UK who are affected by multiple sclerosis, a disease for which there is currently no cure.
New Stem Cell Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis
According to reports revealed by The Telegraph, experts have claimed that Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that is primarily caused by the malfunction in a person's immune system wherein it is mistakenly attacking nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. In line with this, a new treatment dubbed as autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation or AHSCT, has reportedly been given to patients with advanced forms of the disease who had failed to respond to other medications. As a matter of fact, a similar approach has been trialed on people with certain forms of cancer, with encouraging early results.
Furthermore, in one of his statements reported by Medical News Today, study lead author Dr. Paolo Muraro, of the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom has revealed his team had already knew that the AHSCT treatment can potentially reboot or reset the immune system - and that it carried risks - but has highlighted the fact that they didn't know how long the benefits have lasted. On the other hand, it was found that the study is, by far, the largest long-term follow-up study of this procedure, wherein researchers were able to show that they can freeze a patient's disease and stop it from becoming worse, for up to five years. However, the researchers have additionally noted that the nature of the treatment, which involves aggressive chemotherapy, carried significant risks along with it.
The AHSCT Chemotherapy
Meanwhile, experts have described that the treatment works by destroying the immune cells responsible for attacking the nervous system. Hence, in conducting the study, patients were said to have been given a drug which, in turn, encourages stem cells to move from the bone marrow into the bloodstream, where they were removed from the body. Ultimately, Muraro said that there is a great need for more effective treatments to eradicate this devastating condition, claiming that a large randomized controlled trial of this treatment should be the next step.