Secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS)
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. The pathomechanism of the disease involves the activation of B lymphocytes by an unknown causative agent which promotes the production of antibodies directed against a myelin protein and triggers a cascade of inflammatory processes involving e.g. T lymphocytes, cytokines, interleukin and oligoclonal proteins.
Myelin is a fatty substance that surrounds axons and forms an electrically insulating layer which main task is to increase the speed of electrical signals in neurons. As a result of auto-aggression, the process of demyelination, i.e. the loss of myelin sheath occurs resulting in the weakening or the loss of signal transmission along the nerves and leading to axonal degeneration.
In the first years of the disease, inflammatory processes outweigh degenerative changes.
On the basis of ongoing pathological process in the central nervous system and the advancement of disease, the following clinical forms of multiple sclerosis can be distinguished:
a) relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) - new symptoms appear (or present neurological symptoms are worsening) due to the exacerbation of an inflammatory process during relapse and they disappear (usually as a result of treatment with corticosteroids) during remission period;
Chronic forms with a predominant degenerative component:
b) primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) – involves constant deterioration of neurological state, without disease relapses and the remission of symptoms.
c) secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) - years of relapses are not followed by a remission, patient's disability constantly worsens.
At the Institute we treat SPMS.
The necessity to look for new treatment options for progressive Multiple Sclerosis patients has directed researchers and scientists towards stem cells. Stem cell transplantation allows for the delivery of new generations of cells. Stem cells, an undifferentiated elements, are able to differentiate and divide, self-renew and to form more specialized cells. In 2012, mesenchymal stem cells were safely used in the study of patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Evidence of structural, functional and physiological improvement suggests neuroprotective effects of MSC.