Physicians at the Hadassah Medical Center have discovered that it is possible to generate new cells from a patient’s own bone marrow when isolated under special conditions, which could mean a powerful new treatment for those suffering from multiple sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Although still in the research stage, the process has been tested on 25 neurological patients who have multiple sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Mesenchymal cells (mature stem cells) are extracted from the patients and later transplanted by injection into their spinal fluid, with each patient serving as his/her own donor. The transplanted cells are marked in order to track and verify that they reach the intended destination in the patient’s body.
This groundbreaking research is being performed by Prof. Dmitrius Karussis, a Senior Neurologist at the Hadassah Medical Center and Director of the new Multiple Sclerosis Center, working in collaboration with the University of Athens, and Prof. Shimon Slavin, the former Director of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and the BMT Laboratory at Hadassah.
“During the initial stage,” explains Prof. Karussis, “our research included studying the effectiveness of stem cells in laboratory animals. We found that stem cells from bone marrow can reduce cerebral damage and improve the animal’s functioning. Most of the patients who underwent this process report an improvement in their condition.”
Hadassah‘s recently opened Multiple Sclerosis Center provides innovative treatments by neurologists who are world leaders in research, as well as rehabilitation physicians, aided by advisors from the fields of urology, ophthalmology, and social work.