Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks oligodendrocytes, the producers of the myelin which protect nerve cells. As a result, the signaling between nerve cells gets interrupted, resulting in problems with sensation, cognition, and loss of function. In early MS, the oligodendrocytes can replenish the myelin as it becomes damaged. As the disease progresses, however, they can no longer keep up, and symptoms worsen.
Recently, however, investigators at the University of Rochester Medical Center published research in Cell Reports which indicate potential stem cell therapy benefits for those with MS. The researchers manipulated embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells to form glia, a type of brain cells that ultimately form oligodendrocytes. These findings suggest glial transplantation could help achieve remyelination, helping to reduce the issues with nerve cells that arise in MS.
In the study, the transplanted glial progenitor cells traveled to the necessary location in mice’s brains and produced new oligodendrocytes, which replaced missing myelin. As a result, the animals in the studies experienced restored motor function. Based on these findings, biotech companies are already leveraging the method for treatments of conditions such as Huntington’s disease, which are under review by the FDA.
The promise shown by cell-based therapies brings hope for conditions of the central nervous system. Stem cell therapy has the potential to help address the underlying issues and symptoms, which could make meaningful differences in the lives of patients as these treatments are further studied.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for multiple sclerosis, also known as stem cell therapy for multiple sclerosis. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.