Stem cells for MS & other weekly reads: CRISPR, COVID & a bat cave, Huntington’s

About 1 million people are living with multiple sclerosis in the U.S. alone with millions of other cases around the world so a huge effort has gone into trying to find new approaches to the disease including stem cells for MS. We’ll start our weekly recommended reads by talking about a new paper on MS and using cells called MSCs to try to tackle it.

Symptoms_of_multiple_sclerosis, stem cells for MS
A couple of types of stem cell treatments have been proposed for multiple sclerosis.

Stem cells for MS

Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation on Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 

Here’s the listing. This is a very short study report tracking Neurofilament light chains (NF-L) as a marker of MS. CXCL13 was also tracked and fit with the pattern of change with NF-L.

This finding is a bit encouraging but we’ll see how the work progress with larger studies.

I’m not sure I get the rationale for why the marrow cells would help other than a possible anti-inflammatory action.

A different recent study linking MS to EBV was very interesting. I wonder if there’s some combo gene-cell therapy approach based on the EBV connection that could be helpful for patients or prevention.

The idea of stem cell therapy for MS has been around a long time with some encouraging results using true bone marrow stem cells. MSCs are more of a mixed bag and only a fraction are usually stem cells. The most promising approach here uses the combo of chemo and a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

Other recommended reads

1 thought on “Stem cells for MS & other weekly reads: CRISPR, COVID & a bat cave, Huntington’s”

  1. Thank you for bringing attention to Branaplam….it was given FDA fast-track status for Huntington. I had no idea that small molecules can trigger pseudo exon inclusion…

    Here is link to fast track designation

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