Just as we reboot or reset the computer to make it function normally, a clinical trial has shown some positive changes in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by altering their immune system.
The trial was conducted in 20 MS patients at the Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital, UK. The patients received bone marrow transplants using their own stem cells. The method, known as an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), works by using chemotherapy to destroy the area of the immune system which causes MS.
‘A treatment called autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for people with multiple sclerosis has enabled some patients to walk again.’
After the transplant, some of the paralyzed patients were able to walk again and the trial was documented as part of a BBC Panorama program.
Professor John Snowden, a consultant hematologist at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said, "The patients' immune systems were "reset or rebooted" back to a time point before it caused MS. It's clear we have made a big impact on patients' lives, which is gratifying."
This was an experimental trial and only some of the patients were able to move their toes after receiving the bone marrow transplant.
Dr. Emma Gray, head of clinical trials at UK's MS Society, said, "Ongoing research suggests stem cell treatments such as HSCT could offer hope, and it's clear that, in the cases highlighted by Panorama, they've had a life-changing impact. However, trials have found that, while HSCT may be able to stabilize or improve disability in some people with MS, it may not be effective for all types of the condition."