Researchers have found that treatment with adult stem cells has cured mice suffering with a form of multiple sclerosis. While some have recovered completely from paralysis of their back legs, and many showed improvement. Researchers injected the diseased mice with stem cells extracted from the brains of adult in the bloodstream or spinal cord. On examination mice showed that the stem cells had migrated to and then repaired damaged areas of the nerves and brain. In particular, the myelin sheaths of nerve cells were restored after having been worn away. Demonstrating that stem cells can locate and repair a multitude of damaged sites by themselves is highly significant for the treatment of MS.
Researchers stress that the outcome should not used as a reason to halt research on embryonic stem cells. Pro-life groups object to research on ESCs because this involves the destruction of embryos aged up to 14 days. These groups argue that adult stem cells are just as promising for medical research.