Text Size: a  |   a 

2 New Potential Treatment Models For MS Patients

August 10th, 2015

Researchers are trying their hardest to come up with new treatments for MS, they could very much be onto the next best thing to cure the autoimmune disease.

Dr. Benjamin Segal, director of the University of Michigan Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, has gone outside the box to develop a treatment for MS patients.

Working alongside a physician from U-M Bone Marrow Transplant Program and observing extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP), a treatment used to fight graft vs. host disease, he thought it would be a good idea as a treatment for MS. ECP is a quick and painless procedure that involves a transfusion of a patient’s blood.

Graft vs. host is a complication that can possibly occur after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant, essentially making it an inflammatory disorder. This led Dr. Segal to believe that ECP could possibly work in treating MS as well. He seemed to be correct when it came to patient Chad Bolema.

Bolema claimed that the treatment worked for him. Following the ECP treatment, he went from using a power scooter and a walker, to being able to walk again with use of a cane and even without it for some short distances. He had also regained some of his motor skills back (in his left hand for example) as well as his balance.

While clinical trials with ECP are now open for patients with secondary progressive MS, Associate Professor, Judith Greer, from the Queensland University Centre for Clinical Research aims to develop a new MS research model in the land down under.

Greer’s plan involves using mice in the new model and to develop them with a functional human immune system. Researchers will allow mice that have no immune system of their own to rebuild immune systems from immune cells from people with MS.

Creating this model will be a breakthrough for MS research, as all current models for  This will help us better understand MS development and what is happening in those that have it.the disease are limited and unable to mimic how the human immune system responds to those with MS.

With this new model, researchers will also be able to test potential drugs that can treat MS and give them a realistic idea of what treatments work most efficiently. Associate Professor Greer states that this will “fast-track the process for new treatments considerably”.


These two new models of treatment show great promise for the future of MS treatment.