Healthy Living

Multiple Sclerosis: The Year in Review

Bone marrow cell transplantation

2017 started off with a bang when researchers published the results of a 5-year study detailing the effectiveness of using bone marrow cells to help increase brain function and connectivity in MS patients. The new treatment utilized transplanting an individual's own hematopoietic (blood cell-producing) stem cells with immunotherapy to prevent MS attacks against the brain and spinal cord. The trial mainly consisted of patients who had not found any success with other treatments. The treatment had some complications, with most patients experiencing severe or life-threatening affects during the treatment (mainly due to a low white blood cell count or infections). However, 70% of patients experienced mitigation and remission of the disease after the treatment, which gives a hopeful outlook that this type of treatment could be used to help other MS patients. With some refinement and further testing, this type of treatment could really change how MS is treated across the globe.