A recent study has demonstrated that the combination of an experimental stem cell therapy and a nanoparticle delivery system could help in stopping multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. Research work by Dr. Su Metcalfe, the chief scientific officer and founder of the biotechnology firm LIFNano has brought this experimental possibility close to reality.
Dr. Su Metcalfe and her team have devised a way to fight multiple sclerosis by using the natural mechanism of the body itself. The mechanism, however, has not been tested in humans yet.
Multiple sclerosis, an inflammatory and neurodegenerative autoimmune disease resulting in a vast number of symptoms such as muscle spasms, fatigue, numbness, and speech problems, currently affects nearly 2.5 mn people across the world. Nearly 200 new cases of the condition are diagnosed every week in the U.S. alone.
Research in LIF Led to Promising Results
Researchers from LIFNano have used a new treatment for the condition based on a stem cell protein naturally formed in the body – LIF. The protein is to regulate and signal the body’s immune system’s response to myelin, the insulating coating of nerve cells; multiple sclerosis is caused due as the immune system attacks this coating, damaging the ability of certain areas of the nervous system to effectively communicate.
Dr. Metcalfe states that LIF helps the body regulate and protect against the immune system’s attack to myelin and also plays an important role in keeping the central nervous system healthy. The biotech firm has spent several years understanding the importance of LIF and have recently realized its potential for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
Combination with Nanotechnology led to breakthrough Results
The research team saw breakthrough results when the findings from the study of LIF were combined with nanotechnology principles. The treatment that the team is now developing relies on nanospheres derived from medical polymers. While the research may need several more years to be actually applicable in humans, it is sure a ray of hope in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.