Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease, in which the body’s immune system damages myelin sheathsaround nerve cells, primarily attacking cells of the brain and spinal cord. When myelin sheath is destroyed, scar tissue forms, and nerve messages are not transmitted properly, thus patient’s movement, speech, and other functions are affected. Symptoms manifest in almost any neurological symptom or sign, with autonomic, visual, motor, and sensory problems being the most common.
Who Gets Multiple Sclerosis?
The people who get MS are usually between 20 and 40 years old. MS is at least twice as common in women as it is in men, and it has been suggested that hormonal factors predispose women to develop MS. MS is significantly more common in areas of the world that are far away from the equator. While it can affect people of any race, people in northern latitudes are more often affected than those in southern areas, and the disease is almost unheard of in the tropics.
Research about the causes of MS is still incomplete. At present, multiple sclerosis (MS) is not curable. Scientists have not yet found a way to cure MS, or take it away entirely. Conventionally, what doctors could do is to help ease the symptoms. With the application of stem cell therapy in recent years, the progression of MS can be delayed or stopped, which can help better manage symptoms and improve patient’s quality of life.
In clinical application, stem cell therapy combined with traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) methods is proven to be better in managing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) than stem cell therapy alone.
Stem cell therapy for MS
Stem cell therapy, with mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy preferred, is widely used in the clinical treatment of MS, and its effectiveness is beginning to be known.
MSCs has the characteristics of multi-directional differentiation potential, the MSCs injected into blood can locate into the impaired parts and repair the damaged cells. The working principle of stem cell therapy for MS patients is that, on one hand, stem cell therapy removes the fundamental attacking factor by regulating the immune system back to normal; on the other hand, it repairs the damaged myelin sheath cells by producing a variety of factors and enzyme; thus nerve messages could be properly transmitted and symptoms eased.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for MS
Traditional Chinese medicine could effectively reduce flare-ups and slow disease progressionfor MS patients, as well as improve their life quality. So effective in improving muscular distrophy that it makes some MS patients wonder whether they can be gradually recovered by TCM.
Generally, in treating MS, TCM treatments would involve acupuncture, herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, Tui Na, etc. According to individual patient’s specific condition, TCM doctors select different herbal medicine and different acupuncture points to improve the body’s immune system and adjust function. Besides these conventional TCM methods, some unique methods will also be applied, such as external application, rooster treatment, etc.
Either stem cell therapy or TCM treatment can help manage MS symptoms. However, stem cell therapy, when combined with Chinese medicine, can better manage MS than stem cell therapy alone. Comprehensive TCM methods, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, Tui Na, etc. will not only work on MS patients by themselves, but also act as supportive treatment for stem cell therapy. By restoring body’s Yin and Yang balance, TCM would prepare a better inner environment for the coming stem cells to survive and differentiate in the body. After the stem cell transplantation, TCM methods are continually used to create a synergy with stem cell therapy. In this way, the survival rate of stem cells injected into the body is improved substantially.