Stem Cell Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis – first-of-its-kind study

Posted on Healthcare By Prof. Dr. Erich Ringelstein - Published on 2017-02-26

At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) researchers presented a new study about stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis. MSC-NPs was safe and well tolerated. The stem cell treatment might be a new option for patients suffering from progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s called Intrathecal administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors (MSC-NPs).

What does that mean?

Intrathecal administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors (IT-MSC-NPs) is an experimental approach to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers extract bone marrow of the patient and isolate specific mesenchymal cells, so called “neural progenitor cells”. The cells are processed and multiplied in the laboratory and then injected (up to 10 million cells per injection) into the patient again. Intrathecal means into a space around the spinal cord which is connected to the brain.

The Study

The small phase I clinical trial included only 20 multiple sclerosis patients. Each received 3 doses of IT-MSC-NPs.

The Results

Neurological improvements were observed while no serious adverse evets were reported. 65% of patients had minor side effects including headache and fever.

The Conclusion

The authors of the study conclude that IT-MSC-NPs as treatment for MS “appears safe and well tolerated”. However, the study was a phase I trial. Future research has to show if the promising results can be verified.


About Author

Prof. Dr. Erich Ringelstein

Prof. Erich Ringelstein is a Neurologist and Psychiatrist, he was the Head of Neurology Department at the University Hospital of Münster in Germany, managing eighty beds, a neurological intensive care unit and a stroke unit as well. Prof. Ringelstein also managed subdivisions that covered neuromuscular disorders, sleep disorders epileptic seizures, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, as well as, dementia and cognitive impairment. Prof. Ringelstein was very active in academic teaching and was awarded for these efforts several times. He is trained in epileptology, neuroradiology, neuro geriatrics, evoked potentials, neurovascular and neuromuscular ultrasound. In 1992, Prof. Ringelstein received the Hugo Spatz Prize from the German Neurological Society for his research on cerebrovascular disease. Prof. Ringelstein is an active member of the editorial boards of scientific journals like Stroke, European Neurology, Cerebrovascular Diseases, Journal of Neuroimaging. He serves as a Reviewer for well-known journals like Stroke, Brain, Neurology, Annals of Neurology and others. Prof. Ringelstein was trained in Mainz University, Aachen Medical Faculty and Bonn University Hospital. In 1987, he worked as a Research Fellow at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, CA, USA. In 2006, Prof. Ringelstein received an Honorary Doctor title from the University of Debrecen, Hungary, for his intensive and fruitful scientific collaboration with this university hospital. He was elected Corresponding Member of the Austrian Stroke Society.

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