Walking After Multiple Sclerosis

Promise Stem cells



The research team expected cell rejection but instead discovered spectacular outcome among their mice that one day could translate into a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS). In the study, mice disabled with an MS-like condition walked normally two weeks after receiving human stem cells, says a study in Stem Cell Reports.

The scientists themselves didn’t expect the mice to accept human stem cells. But their bodies used them to full advantage.

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Dr Lu Chen came to Tom Lane, PhD, a professor of pathology at the University of Utah, and told him, “The mice are walking.” Six months later the mice continued to walk normally.

Worldwide MS counts 2.3 million victims. The immune system turns on the body and damages myelin sheaths that insulate nerve fibers. Loss of motor coordination for walking and vision combined with fatigue and pain are the first symptoms. The immune attacks went away with the stem cells. Yet the stem cells disappeared after only one week. It is thought they taught the mice cells to repair damage caused by MS.

Lu Chen, Ronald Coleman, Ronika Leang, Ha Tran, Alexandra Kopf, Craig M. Walsh, Ilse Sears-Kraxberger, Oswald Steward, Wendy B. Macklin, Jeanne F. Loring, Thomas E. Lane. Human Neural Precursor Cells Promote Neurologic Recovery in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Stem Cell Reports, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.04.005
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