Mumbai, 28 May 2015 – Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating, progressive neurodegenerative disease that typically only gets worse, but for many patients undertaking treatment at Dr Geeta Shroff’s Hospital, Nutech Mediworld (only centre in India and the world offering human embryonic stem cell therapy), their symptoms have improved instead of progressing.
A study that was conducted on 12 MS patients using human embryonic stem cell (hESC) therapy over two and half years has shown that all the patients suffering from irritability and vision impairment showed improvement in mood and vision post stem cell therapy. Almost 91.6% of patients had difficulty in walking with 45.45% showing improvement. 83.3% suffered from excessive fatigue. This reduced in all the patients with 40% becoming normal.
"The first time I walked into this building I had to use the stick, couldn't even walk, so this is a big day for me! Within three months of stem cell therapy treatment, I have regained lower limbs and upper limbs strength and can now walk without support. My concentration, attention and cognitive skills have significantly improved. Bladder function is normal," said 42 year Gautam Sinha.
Gautam was diagnosed with MS when he was just 24 at AIIMS. He suffered frequent sudden falls, had unstable movement, weakness in both lower and upper limbs, poor concentration, lethargy, impaired cognitive skills and impaired bladder control. After trying conventional drugs, he had given up hope as he did not see positive results.Luckily, he was one of the 33 MS patients to receive treatment at Nutech Mediworld using human embryonic stem cell (hESC) which are transplanted via various routes including injectables. His treatment was conducted in phases with initial treatment of 8 weeks and follow up treatment of 4 weeks.
“The treatment may continue long but the best part is that patient’s condition has significantly improved after the stem cell treatment,” said Dr Shroff."I never ever hoped to get better, but my quality of life is just so much better," said Mr Sinha.
Dr Shroff said stem cell therapy has also helped patients with other neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers and Parkinson's.Amy Covey, a 30 year old woman from USA who was mainly wheelchair bound came to the hospital complaining of generalized weakness and low level of stamina. Further she had limited hand movement and occasional pain in the joints. Conventional treatment did not offer any options and she decided to undergo human embryonic stem cell therapy. She showed improvement in all areas and is now able to walk without any support, she is glad that she took the decision to come to India.
"A lot of people have lost hope on conventional medicine as they do not offer any cure for MS. At best, drugs may be used to control the symptoms," Dr Shroff said.The study of human embryonic stem cells is promising but no hospital specializes in such treatment. Nutech Mediworld is the only centre in the world offering hESC. Located in the heart of New Delhi, it attracts hundreds of patients suffering from many incurable diseases from across the world such as UK, USA and Europe.
Embryonic stem cells are conventionally derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst. They are cultured in the laboratory and have been shown to regenerate tissue. Recently, USA approved a few FDA approved clinical trials.
Dr Shroff established cell lines from a single, spare throwaway fertilized egg taken during a natural IVF cycle in the year 2000. After extensive safety and efficacy evaluations, she has developed a therapy for today’s incurable/ terminal conditions.
MS is an auto-immune disease in which the body attacks its own cells and tissues. It is often diagnosed during prime working years and is one of the most common causes of disability amongst young adults. A ‘hidden disease’, the extent of its impact is not visible to others. The disease mostly strikes youth at a time when they are starting new careers, relationships or making plans for the future. In many cases, patients have to leave their jobs and restrict their movements. Patients face a lifelong stigma of people seeing them as sick, disabled and a burden to the society.