MyCounterpane’s ‘Empowered By…’ is a first-of-its-kind live video event connecting viewers and guests with groundbreaking innovations and treatments in the health and wellness space. This show offers unprecedented access to scientists, doctors, and experts in the medical profession mixed with the true life experience of people in all stages of MS.

In this 4th episode, we are discussing MS and stem cell treatment for MS with our lead expert, Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Head of Advocacy, Services, and Research at the National MS Society. Our guest is MyCounterpane/MS user Nadine Shapiro, an MSer who had stem cell treatment (HSTC) in 2013 and was able to regain function, strength, and balance following the procedure.

If you have been considering the idea of exploring stem cell treatments for your MS (or for someone you love), we encourage you to take a listen.

Mark your calendars for our next webcast, Empowered By…MS and Hormones with Dr. Riley Bove a leading expert from the University of San Francisco on July 21st and 11AM EST.  Link to follow soon.

Some Takeaways from Empowered By… Stem Cell Treatment for MS

Stem Cells 101  

  • Stem cells are special cells that can make copies of themselves.
  • There are billions of cells in the body. For instance, one role of skin cells is to cover the body in skin.
  • A stem cell has the ability to create different types of cells in your body – skin cells, blood cells, nerve cells, etc.

Stem Cell Treatment for MS 101

  • The most common stem cell treatment is Hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy (HSCT) – the name of the cells that make more blood, bone marrow, white and red blood cells.
  • There are other treatments such as iPSCT, also known as embryonic stem cells treatment. iPSCT is controversial but is able to make any cell in the body.

Is Stem Cell Treatment Right For You?

  • Research shows that HSCT is most beneficial for RRMS patients who have new lesions and aggressive relapses. This amounts for 5% of the MS population.
  • Dr. Coetzee recommends speaking with your healthcare team, partners, and caregivers and asking “Is my MS at the place where undergoing HSCT makes sense?”
  • It is paramount that you research the doctor and facility that is doing the procedure. There are about 3-5 hospitals in the US who’ve specialists who are well versed in stem cell work.
  • Find a physician who is ready to work with you and explore your options.

Additional Resources

  • Click here for information on Dr. Richard Burt, a leading (and safe) specialist in HCST treatment:
  • Click here for a general overview of Stem cell treatments
  • Nadine Shapiro’s full story of her HSCT procedure.