Multiple Sclerosis is a disease in which the insulating covers of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. Currently, there are more than 2.3 million people suffering from MS with no known cure. However, researchers believe they are closing in on a possible one: a stem cell treatment already used for some cancers has enabled wheelchair-bound patients with multiple sclerosis to walk again.
The groundbreaking treatment being trialed is called autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) – a procedure that is currently used to treat cancers of the bone and blood, such as leukemia and multiple myeloma. AHSCT aims to “reboot” the immune system, preventing it from attacking the myelin and nerve fibers.