An experiment was published Tuesday in Nature Communications by researchers at San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan and the University of Milan in Italy, that showed they were able to reduce nervous system damage in mice.
The mice were given experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a multiple sclerosis-like disease, and the researchers were able to hold the disease at bay by using stem cell therapy derived from skin from mice.
Cecilia Laterza, Ph.D., Gianvito Martino, M.D. and their fellow researchers were able to use skin cells taken from mice and “force them through” what they called “cell reprogramming” to make them myelin production cells.
Myelin is what coats the nerves, typically only the axon of a neuron, in the nervous system and protects the ability of the nerve to function properly. This is what multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks causing the various symptoms a patient feels.
Stem cell therapy has been an ongoing theme in research the last few years and previous studies of this type, where mice are given EAE and were able to show transplanted cells reduce inflammation and protect, but this team was able to take it further and show the “protective effect was mediated by a soluble factor released by the transplanted cells, called leukemia inhibitory factor.”
Each step these researchers take, though findings might seem a bit small, are absolutely huge when it comes to the possible therapies for people with the more aggressive-types of MS.
[Get free email subscription to Lima Multiple Sclerosis Examiner to receive news and updates [click here].
It’s like what Paola Zaratin, Ph.D., the Director of Scientific Research at the Italian MS Society/Italian MS Foundation was quoted as saying, “This is an important result for people with MS: rigorous basic science providing insights into the mechanisms involved in myelin and nerve damage is the only way to foster the discovery of new therapies for progressive forms of the disease.”
Those with the progressive-forms of MS, ones like Secondary-progressive, Primary-progressive and Progressive-relapsing, are limited when it comes to therapies and they find themselves watching the ongoing stem-cell therapy research raptly.
Right now, most are stuck with therapies like Tysabri, chemotherapies like Cytoxan, or pill therapies like Gilenya and Tecfidera.
A lot of neurologists typically won’t prescribe the pills unless shot therapies like Copaxone aren’t working because, even though studies didn’t show a huge increase in infections, the pills will cause a drop in white blood cells.
It doesn’t help a patient’s comfort level either when news of Tecfidera is “derived from an old, basic chemical” (fumaric acid). Fumaric acid is used industrially to make food taste sour and to preserve them.
So…with that said, the closer these researchers get to clinical trials on stem-cell therapy for progressive MS, the better.
For more info: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive, Maumee, OH at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Google Maps
Top Related Stories
More Articles: (April 2013) Skin cells to brain cells destroyed by multiple sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis Community Support:
- MS World ~ “We’ve come together from around the world to help each other cope with the challenges of living with Multiple Sclerosis.”
- Patients like Me ~ “Our Promise PatientsLikeMe is committed to putting patients first. We do this by providing a better, more effective way for you to share your real-world health experiences in order to help yourself, other patients like you and organizations that focus on your conditions.”
- Med Help, Multiple Sclerosis ~ “Today, MedHelp empowers over 12 million people each month to take control over their health and find answers to their medical questions. MedHelp, a privately-funded company, has over 16 years of accumulated information from doctors and other patients across hundreds of conditions. In addition, MedHelp has long-standing partnerships with the top medical institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, National Jewish, Partners Health, and Mount Sinai. MedHelp’s audience, archives, and partnerships make it a unique health destination on the Internet.”
Sources: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/10/28/241365414/unlikely-multiple-sclerosis-pill-on-track-to-become-blockbuster, Scott Hensley; http://news.yahoo.com/researchers-italy-report-skin-tissue-may-hold-promise-190300981.html, USNews Wire