Can stem cells help MS? CDN researchers aim to find out

Excellent - let the scientific rubber meet the reality road. (I feel like I forced thet. Did I force that?)

Researchers at the Ottawa Hospital and Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre will each recruit 20 MS patients for the trial that will test whether mesenchymal stem cells can reduce inflammation and even help repair damage already caused by the disease.

MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation in the central nervous system, resulting in injury to myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerves. This damage can create a host of symptoms, leading to varying degrees of physical disability and cognitive impairment.

Mesenchymal stem cells, which are found in bone marrow, fat, skin tissue and umbilical cord blood, have the ability to modify the immune system and reduce inflammation, said neurologist Dr. Mark Freedman of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, who is leading the clinical trial.