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    You are here : Home » MS Research News » Bone Marrow Transplant Research

    Bone Marrow Transplant Research

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    More news can be found in New Pathways Magazine, our bi-monthly publication, and also check daily at MSRC: Latest MS News.

    Bone marrow holds promise in treatment of MS

    Scientists at Yale University think cells from bone marrow might hold promise for repairing nerve cells damaged by multiple sclerosis.

    While the research is in its early stages, the first safety testing in humans could begin within a year.

    "The beauty of the potential use of bone marrow is you don't have to go into the brain to remove nerve (stem) cells," said Dr. Jeffery Kocsis, associate director of the Neuroscience and Regeneration Research Center of Yale University.

    Kocsis and his colleagues have already transplanted specialised stem cells from adult bone marrow into rats and produced substantial regrowth of important nerve cells.

    In MS, stem cells from bone marrow would be used to regenerate the growth of myelin, the fatty coating that insulates nerve cells in the central nervous system and enables messages to be sent.

    Bone Marrow Transplants Help MS

    In Canada, the Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation is funding a project to find out whether transplanting bone marrow stem cells in MS can stop the disease. So far, the first four participants treated have come through the procedure safely.

    The study, at the University of Ottawa, involves 32 people with rapidly-progressing MS who are likely to become severely disabled. 24 will receive bone marrow transplantation. The other 8, who do not wish to have the procedure, will be the control group. The study is led by neurologist Dr Mark Freedman and bone marrow transplant physician Dr Harold Atkins. Recruitment began in October 2000.

    The MS Scientific Research Foundation is related to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, and receives more than 95% of its funding from the MS Society. This project is funded for $4 million over six years.

    Ref: Proceedings of the American Academy of Neurology

    For further information, refer to ...

    Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
    250 Bloor Street East, Suite 1000
    Ontario M4W 3P9
    Telephone: (416) 922-6065
    Facsimile: (416) 922-7538

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