Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are specialized cells that have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into other cells types. a special group of cells that carry neuroregenerative and neuroprotective properties, which was demonstrated in several lab experiments. These cells can be found in adipose (fat) tissue or umbilical cord derived tissue.

The characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells encouraged scientists to see their effects on several incurable diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. The preliminary results indicate that MSCs can specialize into myelin-producing cells to reverse the damage inflicted by the inflammatory and autoimmune reactions.

As a reminder, myelin is the substance that surrounds nerve axons and dendrites to accelerate the transmission of electrical signals. These substances are the main target for the type IV hypersensitivity reaction seen in patients with MS.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells and MS

In a 2016 study, scientists analyzed the effects of autologous transplant of adipose stem cells via the intrathecal administration technique (injection via the spinal fluid). The process took one year, and the main goals of the study were to observe the rate of disease progression and frequency of relapses.

After 18 months of the study’s beginning, the results of the study showed that stem cell therapy is safe, and no adverse effects were reported. Interestingly, patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis seemed to benefit the most from this therapy. Participants had no progression in their Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and the post-study follow-up showed no disease progression.

These results left scientists optimistic about the potential benefits of adipose tissue stem cell therapy in halting the destructive autoimmune reaction in MS patients, as well as reversing the neurological disability by regenerating myelin sheaths around neurons.

Another study that involved umbilical cord-derived MSCs was done to evaluate the immunomodulating properties of these cells. The study concluded that “The impaired suppressive function of Tregs from MS can be completely reversed in a co-culture by UC-MSC modulation. This report is the first to demonstrate that functional defects of Tregs in MS can be repaired in vitro using a simple UC-MSC priming approach.”

Many studies have shown potential relief of symptoms and halt of progression. It is not a cure but an alternative option for managing one’s condition. Mesenchymal stem cells provide promising potential for those with Multiple Sclerosis as well as many other neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and orthopedic conditions.

This post was written by Becky Palmer, a medical professional at At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.