Ethical + effective: Hopeful stem-cell treatment for MS

Thursday, January 21, 2016
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

petri dish stem cell researchAdvances continue to be made in medical research that avoids the destruction of human life. Researchers are even using words like "miraculous" when talking about the latest progress in treating multiple sclerosis.

Lisa Cannon, who has been in banking for 34 years, was recently diagnosed with MS. "They told me I had the myelin loss and that I have white matter on the brain," she tells OneNewsNow. "Of course, banking is numbers – and the only thing that concerns me is being able to remember some things."

But there may be some good news on the horizon for Cannon. Neurologist Dr. Robert Cranston says an adult stem-cell treatment in the United Kingdom is showing promise.

"The concept on this is that if we could give them stem cells, they could create high-quality myelin from scratch and replace the damaged areas," the Illinois-based neurologist explains. Myelin is a whitish substance that forms an insulating "sheath" around many nerve fibers, increasing the speed at which impulses are conducted.

Cranston says the research shows promise, but is still years away from being approved for general use. But medical ethicist David Prentice with the Charlotte Lozier Institute says once again, the research finds that the ethical treatment is also the effective treatment.

Prentice

"You're using the patient's own adult stem cells," he reiterates. "No human being has to die to get these stem cells, unlike embryonic stem cells."

And even though her treatment may be years away, Cannon can be hopeful without being ethically conflicted.

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