Experimental multiple sclerosis therapy stops disease in its tracks

Posted: April 13, 2015 at 5:48 pm

The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa have received a $4.2 million grant to support aclinical trial for stem cell therapy targeted atmultiple sclerosis patients.

One Pointe-Claire man says he knows from personal experience that the treatmentmesenchymal stem cell therapy could give someone with MS a new chance at life.

Alexandre Normandin was diagnosed eight years ago, in his third year of medical school at McGill University.

He said what started out asa little numbness on his left temple, turned out to be rapidly progressing MS.

"The way it was going, it wouldn't be surprising, within months [or]years, to wind up in a wheelchair," he told .CBC'sDaybreakhost MikeFinnerty.

When he found out about an experimental bone marrow stem-cell transplant at the Ottawa General hospital in 2008,he didn't hesitate to sign up.

The treatment was risky Normandin had to go through 15 days of chemotherapy in order to completely wipe his immune system and eliminate themutation that caused his MS.

But it worked.

Years later,Normandin runshis own medical practice.

"The progression of the disease has been fully stopped I still have some fatigue, I still have some issues with balance, but in general compared with what the alternative would have been, I think it's a miracle cure," he said.

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Experimental multiple sclerosis therapy stops disease in its tracks

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