Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stem Cells -- How Do They Help with MS?

We hear about the possibility that stem cell research could benefit MS, but exactly what does that mean? Would stem cell research pinpoint the cause? Find a cure? Lead to a better treatment?

Here is a study that relates stem cell research with the destruction and repair of myelin. The auto-immune inflammation must be suppressed and growth inhibitors must be blocked before the myelin can regenerate itself.

Now, here's where the stem cells come in. Transplanting stem cells gives the myelin regrowth a jump start. Please realize that this is my interpretation of a medically technical article full of big words like oligodendrocytes that I don't normally use in everyday conversation. But I think that's what it said. First the destruction has to be stopped, then the stem cell transplant can start the repair.

technorati tags: , , , , ,


mdmhvonpa said...

My question (avoiding the whole ethics thing) is how do the stem cells get past the blood-brain barrier and into the damaged areas? Direct injection? YIKES.

Vicki said...

I don't know! It is kinda scary, but I didn't get the idea that it is a regular injection, so maybe it's not so 'yikes' after all. Maybe.