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Stem-Cell Transplants Show Promise for MS

Transplants of their own stem cells may help people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a small new study suggests. The study included 21 people with MS. They were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group had stem cells removed from their own bone marrow. Then they received drugs that treat MS by suppressing the immune system. Finally, the stem cells were injected back into the body. The other group received immune-suppressing drugs, followed by another drug, mitoxantrone. These treatments were repeated every month for 6 months. During a 4-year follow-up, people who got the stem-cell treatment had 79% fewer new abnormal areas shown on a brain scan than those in the other group. The stem-cell group also developed no new MS-related inflammation in the brain, compared with 56% of the other group.

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