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Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Stem cell treatment may prevent worsening of symptoms

About 2.8 million people worldwide live with multiple sclerosis (MS) — a chronic neurological condition affecting the body’s nervous system.

Although treatments are available to help lessen the many symptoms of MS, there is currently no cure. And while the life expectancy for people with MS has increased over the years, they have an average life span between 25 to 35 years following diagnosis.

Now researchers from the IRCCS San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan, Italy, show transplanting fetal stem cells into the spinal cords of people with progressive MS helped increase the number of neuroprotective molecules in their spinal fluid after three months.

And two years after the treatment, study participants provided with higher doses of transplanted stem cells did not experience as much reduction in the brain’s gray matter compared to those given a lower dose.

The study appears in the journal Nature Medicine.

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