Multiple sclerosis can be scary, but a new treatment holds promise

Posted: April 1, 2015 at 2:47 am

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a scary and unpredictable disease.

A patient's own immune system attacks the nervous system; causing numbness, dizziness and in some cases paralysis.

"It was terrifying, said Rachel Taylor. It was like having a wet, heavy blanket put over your life."

Taylor was diagnosed with MS 14 years ago.

"I was an active runner, and over the course of a few months couldn't figure out why I couldn't keep up," said Rachel.

Rachel knew what was wrong; she'd been working with the MS Society bike rides for years.

Rachel's in remission now, but she is still thrilled with Prof. Tom Lane's stem cell discovery.

"We have animals that are paralyzed that cannot right themselves, and once we en-graft the neural stem cells into the spinal cords, within three weeks, the majority of the animals, about 80 to 85 percent, will regain motor skills," said Prof. Tom Lane, PhD, a professor of Pathology at the University of Utah.

Researchers say MS damages the myelin, a layer around nerve cells.

Once injected, the human neural stem cells stimulate the mouse's own cells to repair the damage. When nerve cell function returns, the mice can walk and run again.

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Multiple sclerosis can be scary, but a new treatment holds promise

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