Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disorder which affects the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The disease process results in inflammation and damage to myelin (the insulating tissue for nerve fibers) and other cells within the nervous system.
Because myelin aids the conduction of nerve signals, damage to myelin results in impaired nerve signaling and may impair normal sensation, movement, and thinking. This damage occurs in patches which appear as distinct lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The patches cause different symptoms, depending on their location within the nervous system.
Currently, there is no cure for MS. There are treatments available which may slow its progression and alleviate associated symptoms. Stem cell therapy is among these treatment options.
The Cells4health Multiple Sclerosis Stem Cell Treatment
The MS stem cell treatment differs from standard methods because, in contrast to temporarily masking symptoms with drugs, it is a drug-free alternative focused on affecting physical changes which can improve a patient’s quality of life.
MS patients are treated by injecting the stem cells into the bloodstream intravenously and by lumbar puncture. Mannitol is administered to open the blood-brain barrier, allowing the stem cells to reach the central nervous system.
Lumbar puncture and IV-Mannitol are outpatient procedures which requires patients to stay 4 or 5 nights.
Diagnostics, Physical and Cognitive Assessment
Before stem cell implantation, each patient undergoes blood tests at the clinic and a comprehensive physical and cognitive assessment. Baseline scores are calculated for Bernsden Standard Basic Functions, Barthel Index, Fruhreha Index and Modified Asworth Scale.
Patients may undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Step 1 – Bone Marrow Collection
Bone marrow is collected from the patient’s iliac crest (hip bone) using thin-needle mini-puncture under local anesthesia. Although some pain is felt when the needle is inserted, most patients do not find the bone marrow collection procedure particularly painful. The entire procedure normally takes about 30 minutes.
Once the bone marrow collection is complete, patients may return to their hotel and go about normal activities.
More detailed information on the bone marrow collection procedure is available in the Bone Marrow Informed Consent document (PDF file).
Step 2 – Laboratory Processing
The stem cells are processed from the bone marrow in a state-of-the-art, government approved (cGMP) laboratory. In the lab, both the quantity and quality of the stem cells are measured. These cells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and are capable of regenerating or repairing damaged tissue.
Step 3 – Stem Cell Implantation
The stem cells are implanted back into the patient by intravenous administration (IV) with Mannitol or /and by lumbar puncture.
A venous catheter is inserted into a vein in the right or left arm. Then the Mannitol is introduced over a 20 minute period. Mannitol is a safe, well-known drug that is used to open the blood-brain barrier in order to allow the passage of stem cells and other neurotropic factors into the brain and spinal canal. Next, the stem cells are slowly introduced into the catheter to allow them to thoroughly mix with the blood as they enter the body. No anesthesia is required for this procedure.
More detailed information on the IV-Mannitol procedure is available in the IV-Mannitol Informed Consent Document (PDF File).
A lumbar puncture is a puncture of the spinal canal using a fine needle, beveled at the front, in the lumbar region (lowest vertebrae of the back) of the spinal column for extracting spinal fluid (nerve or cerebral fluid). Lumbar punctures are primarily performed to diagnose for instance inflammatory disorders of the nervous system such as meningitis or multiple sclerosis. The extracted fluid, which is usually clear like water, in such cases is then examined in various ways in the laboratory.
During the LP for the stem cell therapy a volume of spinal fluid is extracted that is equivalent to the volume of your own stem cells intended for transplantation, so as little pressure difference as possible occurs in your spinal fluid space.
Changes in the pressure of the spinal fluid can cause headache. This pain is not dangerous and rarely lasts longer than 1 – 2 days, but the pain can be uncomfortable especially when getting up from a horizontal position due to the changing pressure ratios.
More detailed information on the LP procedure is available in the LP Informed Consent Document (PDF File).
Patients treated by IV-Mannitol may return home the day after IV treatment.
MS Stem Cell Treatment Results
A total number of 50 patients (14 men and 36 women) with MS were treated and returned the post treatment questionnaires.
The mean age of patients at the time before treatment was almost 48 years. Mean time between treatment and follow up moment was around 5 months.
Improvements were reported in 25 patients, no change in 18 patients and natural progress of the disease in 7 patients.
Most patients reported improvements in muscle strength (68.8%), spasticity of the limbs (78.9%) and better coordination of the limbs (55.6%).
The ability to stand alone and walk better without help was reported in respectively 50% and 25% of the patients with improvements.
Improved vision acuity was reported in 57.1% of the patients with improvements. Enhanced bladder control and bowel control was reported in respectively 47.1% and 28.6%.
Click to view or print complete multiple sclerosis treatment results, including graphs (pdf)
Read what our patients have to say about their stem cell treatment:
Nicole Corry, 45 years, Multiple Sclerosis
“…I am still walking better, feel well and positive and less fatigued.”
Russel Miller, 53 years, Multiple Sclerosis
“…My quality of life has improved dramatically”
Kerry O’Connor, 59 years old, Multiple Sclerosis
“…I can stand for a longer time on my legs, my balance has improved, my walking has slightly improved and I can walk for longer periods of time unaided.”
Treatment Evaluation Process
In order to be evaluated for stem cell treatment, patients must complete an online medical history form. Once you’ve completed the online medical history and submitted it, a patient relations consultant will contact you. He or she will assist you with the rest of the evaluation process. Upon treatment approval, your consultant will also assist you with treatment scheduling and trip preparation.