Stem cell transplant is a new-aged treatment given to individuals suffering from multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is known to be a widespread disabling neurological condition in young adults across the globe. MS can develop in an individual at any age but mostly occurs between the ages of 20 to 40.
It has been estimated by The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation that approximately about 4 hundred thousand people in the US suffer from Multiple Sclerosis while about 200 new cases emerge every week. It is also estimated that about 2500 people in the United States die due to multiple sclerosis every year.
There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis but there are special medications that are specifically designed to assist in slowing the progression of the disease. However, at the same time is should be noted that these medications do not address the symptoms individually. According to the US Food and Drug Administration there are 9 Multiple Sclerosis related medications that have been approved. These are as follows:
1. Teriflunomide (Aubagio)
2. Interferon Beta-1 A(Avonex, Rebif and Plegridy)
3. Interferon Beta-1B (Betaseron and Extavia)
4. Glatiramer Acetate (Copaxone)
5. Fingolimod (Gilenya)
6. Mitoxantrone (Novantrone)
7. Dimethyl Fumarate (Tecfidera)
8. Natlizumab (Tysabri)
9. Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada)
It should also be kept in mind that the above mentioned medications are not recommended during pregnancy. Therefore it is advised that if a person suffering from multiple sclerosis is considering becoming pregnant, they should first consult a doctor.
It should also be kept in mind that the direct cost for the treatment which includes prescribed medication, as well as the indirect cost for the condition can range between $8500 and $54200 per year within the United States.
It is also important to understand that there is no single Multiple Sclerosis Test available. Instead it is a procedure that requires a neurological examination, the history of the patient and a series of other tests that may include, blood tests, spinal fluid analysis, MRI and evoked potentials. However, as there is no established reason why multiple sclerosis may occur, there is still no known prevention.
Stem Cell Transplants a Cure for MS?
A stem cell transplant is a treatment that is usually used to help cure different types of cancers such as leukemia, myeloma or lymphoma. During the process of stem cell transplant the patient gets high doses of chemotherapy. This is a good way to kill off the cancer cells but at the same time also kills the stem cells inside the bone marrow.
There have been many different tests carried out that suggests that stem cell transplant may be a very effective way to help patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. However, at the same time it is considered extremely risky as this treatment may destroy the immune system of the patient. Many people still prefer other treatment methods compared to stem cell transplant due to the above mentioned risks.
There are a lot of different medical research organizations that are offering patients many different benefits to consider this treatment option. These include the heavy cost of stem cell transplant which is approximately around $198000, an amount which is usually isn’t covered by any insurance company or by the government. Yet, at the same time these medical research organizations get a chance to properly study the treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Financial Assistance for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
Besides that fact that multiple sclerosis can have a heavy burden both physically and emotionally on a patient, it can also prove to be a heavy financial challenge. For the most part, many patients are not able to cover on these expenses on their own. For such patients there are a variety of resources that are available to help them with the financial burden that they may face due to their condition.
Organizations and foundations such as The Multiple Sclerosis Society have financial assistance programs that are especially designed to help assist such patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis that are not able to handle the financial burden the disease brings with it.
Many other programs such as the MRI Diagnostic Fund offered by The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America helps MS patients cover cost of an MRI during a MS diagnosis which can usually cost up to $400 to $ 2000 or even more. The Equipment Distribution Programs also offered by MSAA provides MS patients with equipment needed for their safety and convenience.
Other organizations similar to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation provides MS patient with those services that that may not be able to afford such as home care grants, patient assistance programs and assistive technology programs.
Where funds still fall short, patients can turn to medical fundraising to collect donations specifically for stem cell transplant including travel expenses and stem cell treatment.
1. Multiple Sclerosis Statistics: http://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/facts-statistics-infographic
3. MS Patients who Received Stem Cell Transplants Still in Remission: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/ms-patients-who-received-stem-cell-transplants-still-in-remission-010715#3