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'Stem cells and MS'

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Professor Robin Franklin.

Repair and regeneration using cell therapy in multiple sclerosis have been explored experimentally for decades. In this time, a number of unexpected and essentially novel aspects of the disease have emerged and presented new challenges – the occurrence of early axon loss, the involvement of ‘normal appearing’ white matter, and the importance of grey matter involvement, to name but a few. This expansion of our understanding of multiple sclerosis is of course vital, and has informed and guided approaches to developing reparative therapies.

Stem cells have claimed much attention, and clearly offer great potential in regenerative medicine. Whilst most attention has undoubtedly focused on embryonic stem cells, we have concentrated our efforts in Bristol exclusively on the rather (i.e., much) less fashionable adult counterpart.

I hope to explain why this has been the case; what approaches we have taken to studying and developing repair in MS, and why we have felt it appropriate to extend our experimental work beyond the laboratory and conduct a proof-of-principle therapeutic trial of autologous bone marrow cells in patients with MS.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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