Stem cells derived from a patient's own fat tissue can offer an effective treatment against multiple sclerosis (MS), say researchers from University of California San Diego.
The researchers demonstrated the possible effectiveness of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) cells in MS treatment.
"All three patients in our study showed dramatic improvement in their condition after the course of SVF therapy," said lead researcher Dr. Boris Minev, from the Division of Neurosurgery, University of California San Diego.
"While obviously no conclusions in terms of therapeutic efficacy can be drawn from these reports, this first clinical use of fat stem cells for treatment of MS supports further investigations into this very simple and easily-implementable treatment methodology," he added.
It is believed that SVF cells, and other stem cells, may be able to treat the condition by limiting the immune reaction and promoting the growth of new myelin sheath, which is often lost in MS.
"None of the presently available MS treatments selectively inhibit the immune attack against the nervous system, nor do they stimulate regeneration of previously damaged tissue. We've shown that SVF cells may fill this therapeutic gap," said Minev.
First of the three patients, suffered frequent painful seizures for the previous three years, however after the treatment seizures had stopped completely and there were significant improvements in his cognition and a reduction of spasticity in his arms and legs.
The second patient reported improvements in his sense of balance and coordination, as well as an improved energy level and mood.
And the third one said his gait, balance and coordination improved dramatically over a period of several weeks.
The study appears in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Translational Medicine.