The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is set to advance stem cell research for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a disease that attacks the central nervous system.
"A proposal will soon be sent to the Stem Cell Ethics Committee at the hospital to conduct both epidemiological and therapeutic study using conventional drugs and studies related to stem cell therapy for the disease," said Dr Rohit Bhatia, additional professor of neurology at AIIMS.
A proposal for hematopoietic stem cell transplant has already been submitted for ethics clearance and for mesenchymal stem cell therapy. The proposal will be soon sent for clearance and funding.
"We have proposed a therapeutic study for multiple sclerosis which involves removing the cells with stem cells that repopulate the body to treat the abnormality due to expansion of autoreactive cells," said Dr Kameshwar Prasad, Professor of Neurology, AIIMS.
Though it is know that multiple sclerosis is common among people from temperate or colder climes, a study conducted by AIIMS showed that such cases were increasing in India as well.
According to the study, of 101 patients at the hospital between June 2011 to December 2012, it was proved that ratio of female patients to male was 6:4 - 61 female patients and 40 male. It was also proved that 30% of the patients were moderately disabled and about 60% had episodic relapses with the rest of the cases being progressive in nature.
The patients with extreme cases were between the age group 20-40.