• Sativex
    • Sativex is a new prescription medicine that treats spasticity symptoms associated with MS for patients who have not responded to other medicines.
    • It contains active ingredients called ‘cannabinoids’, which are extracted from cannabis sativa plants grown and processed under strictly controlled conditions.
    • It is administered as an oral spray (to be applied under the tongue or inside the cheek) enabling flexible dosage, always in accordance with healthcare professional’s advice.
    • In more than 6,000 patients who have taken Sativex, no risk of overdose has been observed. Further to this, there is no clinical evidence to suggest that Sativex produces a ‘high’.
    • Unwanted effects such as dizziness or fatigue can occur when it is administered for the first time.(Satifex Information Leaflet, May 2014 on MS Ireland website.)
      http://www.ms-society.ie/pages/living-with-ms/treating-&-managing-ms/potential-therapies. {Accessed 21st July 2017}
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • Stem cells are different from most cells in the body as they have not yet developed to carry out a particular function. Researchers are exploring whether it is possible for stem cells to become cell types which could slow MS disease activity, repair existing damage or replace faulty parts of the immune system or nervous system. Stem cell therapy is already being used for other conditions, such as cancer of the blood (leukaemia).
  • Stem cell therapy is a largely experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) and is being tested in clinical trials. A type of stem cell therapy, called autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation(abbreviated to AHSCT, ASCT or HSCT) has been most extensively studied. AHSCT uses high doses of chemotherapy to wipe out harmful cells in the immune system so is more intensive and higher risk than most other treatments for MS. The immune system is then rebuilt using stem cells collected from your blood before chemotherapy. The idea is to reboot the immune system so that it no longer attacks the brain and spinal cord to cause further damage.
  • So far, only a limited number of small scale clinical trials have taken place but early results are encouraging and understanding of how best to treat people with stem cells is improving. More clinical trials are needed to work out which types of cells and which route of delivery would be most effective and how different types and stages of MS disease can be targeted.
    (https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/stem-cell-therapy.) {Accessed 21st July 2017}

Myelin Repair Research

  • Myelin is replaced by a special myelin-making cell in the brain called an oligodendrocyte. These cells are made from a type of stem cell found in our brains, called oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs).
  • Nerve cells can signal for help when their myelin is damaged. When the signal reaches the stem cells, they travel to the site of damage and mature into myelin-making cells. And then the damage can be repaired.
  • Unfortunately, this repair becomes less effective over time and doesn’t work as well as it should in MS.
  • Researchers are working to understand how myelin repair is affected in MS in order to gain knowledge to design treatments to put myelin back on nerves.
  • Researchers have identified some molecules that play a vital role in myelin repair and some of the pathways that are involved.
  • Researchers are testing the benefits of a number of myelin repair treatments in clinical trials.
    (https://www.mssociety.org.uk/myelin-repair.) {Accessed 21st July 2017}




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