Zack Westall is a Senior Contributor to TDA. He graduated from Florida State University and fills his spare time with reading, movies, games, guitars, beer, and beaches.
A New Take on Self-Help
According to reports from the BBC’s science desk, European doctors have begun preliminary research into the ability of stem cells (unassigned bodily cells) to cure multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that wreaks havoc on the brain and spinal cord. Currently the only treatments for MS will alleviate symptoms, but do nothing to curb its progression. Scientists believe that stem cells can be extracted from the patients and not the hotly debated embryonic stem cells everyone associates the phrase “stem cell research” with, and manipulated to alleviate, cure, and even reverse the effects of MS in patients.
The trial, scheduled for later this year, will involve a collaboration of doctors and 150 MS patients from across Europe. Dr. Paulo Muraro, of London’s Imperial College, is very hopeful in stating, “there is very strong pre-clinical evidence that stem cells might be an effective treatment.” The research into stem cell therapy for MS has been funded in part by the UK’s MS Society.
In past years, those suffering from MS (100,000 in the UK and 3,000,000 worldwide) have often sought treatment in overseas stem cell clinics after hearing claims that these clinics can alleviate long-term diseases in exchange for profuse sums of money. However, there is currently no existing proven stem cell therapy for MS.
The largely optimistic collaborators will begin “phase two” of the MS/stem cell experiment in six months to assess the viability and safety of the treatment. They expect it will take 5 years to analyze the findings after which large scale trials could begin.
Read more at BBC News.