Category Archives: Multiple Sclerosis research

Research shows promise to fix progressive MS damage

We regularly receive emailed news releases from Multiple Sclerosis-related businesses and organizations.

The Tisch MS Research Center of New York sent us one on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, that in 11 words truly shifted our outlook on living with MS:

“RESEARCHERS SHOW STEM CELL THERAPY MAY REVERSE DISABILITY IN MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS”

Boom.

It was as though our heads and hearts simultaneously exploded with hope and optimism.

Tisch MS Research Center of New York shared with us this photo of research in action from inside the lab.

Sure, we collectively have had MS for nearly 40 years and have heard things like this many times. So much so that if we had a dollar for every time we heard about a new drug being introduced in a way that says, “Hang on folks, this one IS the next best thing in treating your MS,” we’d have at least $4,736. For real.

But this one seems different to us.

Tisch is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to finding the cause and a cure for MS by enthusiastically conducting medical research to “… accelerate the pace at which research discoveries translate from lab bench to bedside.”

Their researchers found a stem cell-based treatment that may reverse disability in progressive MS. These findings also build the case for showing the safety of stem cell-related treatments to promote repair and regeneration in people living with progressive forms of MS, like the kind Jennifer has.

Highlights of the research release indicate that in the post-treatment efficacy analysis:

  • Study participants demonstrated a reversal of disability as determined by improved median expanded disability status scale.
  • Of the 20 subjects, 70 percent had greater muscle strength and 50 percent exhibited improved bladder function.

What adds to the excitement is that these results justify the initiation of a planned FDA-approved Phase II trial in a larger group of patients. We encourage you to read the news release for more information and the research article about this exciting development in the MS research world.

We are so encouraged by this study because it gives us further reasons to stay healthy. MS can affect our nervous systems, but we still need to eat right, exercise and take care of our overall health for times like this. It’s like living as a back-up quarterback: You have to be ready to perform if you ever get the call to get back in the game.

This also is the latest research development that specifically targets progressive forms of MS.

When we both were diagnosed, there were just three kinds of disease-modifying drugs to slow the progression of MS in people with relapsing-remitting forms of the disease, like the kind Dan has. Since then, nearly 12 new medications for people with RRMS have come on the market, but there was nothing for people with progressive forms of the disease. That is, until last year when Ocrevus was introduced as the first therapy for primary progressive MS.

It’s about time.

Seriously. All of this research takes time. We always are excited by the amount of research that is being done to treat and find a cure for MS.

And it’s always is reassuring when there are promising developments – like the Tisch research – that will help fix the damage this disease has caused.