In news, the UK MS Society is immersing itself in the exciting realm of stem cell research, this article can be found on the UK MS Society website:
MS Society funds major international stem cell researchScientists in the UK have received £1 million in joint funding from the MS Society and the UK Stem Cell Foundation for three new studies which will test whether stem cells can be safely used to slow, stop or reverse the damage caused to the brain and spinal cord in people with MS.
One of the studies is the UK part of an international trial involving 150 to 200 people with MS in countries across the world, including Italy, America and Canada.
Dr Paolo Muraro and his researchers at trial sites in Edinburgh and London will take stem cells from the bone marrow of 13 people with MS, grow them in the laboratory and then re-inject them into the bloodstream. The stem cells will make their way to the brain where it's hoped they will repair the damage caused by MS – including targeting ‘active’ lesions, where damage is currently happening.
Scientists believe that this unique international collaboration will reduce, by a number of years, the time taken to test whether stem cells could be a safe and effective treatment for people with MS.
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the MS Society, said: “Stem cells hold tremendous potential as a future treatment option for people with MS. We are delighted to be funding this world leading research which shows the power of an international research collaboration and joint working between charities.”
Of the two other studies funded by the MS Society and the UK Stem Cell Foundation, one based at Queen Mary Hospital, London, will look at how stem cells can be used to treat optic neuritis in laboratory models of MS. The other, based at the University of Nottingham, will compare stem cells from people with a progressive form of MS to those without the condition to help us discover possible treatments.