multiple sclerosis

Blood-forming stem cells treat advanced stage of MS

A group in Greece has found that transplants of blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow can treat some patients with multiple sclerosis. That work, published in the journal Neurology, could one day help the 400,000 Americans and 2.1 million people worldwide have MS (from the National MS Society).

Stem cell progress on brain awareness week

This week marks Brain Awareness Week, with events worldwide to bring people up to speed on brain research. I went to the cool search tool on the Dana Foundation web site and found that several CIRM grantees are hosting events this week. That makes sense, given that roughly a quarter of our funding goes to neuronal diseases. (You can see charts of CIRM stem cell research funding allocations here. The charts are slightly out of date - stay tuned for some updates in the next month.)

Embryonic stem cells repair nerve damage from mutiple sclerosis in mice

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have found that neurons derived from  embryonic stem cells were able to repair some damage in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. In people with MS, the immune system attacks the insulation – called myelin – that covers and protects neurons of the brain and spinal cord. The transplanted cells caused a response in the animals that allowed the myelin coating to be repaired on damaged cells. In humans, repairing the myelin would likely also repair the function of those nerves, bringing back feeling and motor control in people with MS.

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