'Miracle' MS cure dismissed
A young multiple-sclerosis patient who walked for the first time in five years following expensive stem-cell replacement therapy has warned fellow MSers not to waste their money on it.
Amanda Bryson, 20, began walking again minutes after receiving the treatment in November 2005.
But her condition has since deteriorated so much she is now as immobile as before the treatment and is confined to a wheelchair. Her warning comes after experts told patients to beware of such "miracle cures".
She said she felt guilty for having given fellow MS patients hope the treatment could be a wonder cure for conditions such as multiple sclerosis, as the therapy, which is not licensed in the UK, can cost up to £15,000 from clinics in other parts of Europe. Ms Bryson, from Inverness, said she had even heard of people remortgaging their homes to raise enough money to pay for the treatment.
She said: "For the first month or two I was absolutely fine, but now things are the way they were before. I have secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and I am back where I was before the treatment. In my opinion it is a big scam."
Ms Bryson's family raised about £12,000 for the treatment at the private PMC clinic in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She said she felt bad for families who had made huge sacrifices for the treatment.
"It is an expensive scam. I feel really bad for getting other people's hopes up," she said.
She went on: "It could be a placebo effect that makes people feel better because they want to believe it will work. It is a short-term effect. To me it seems cruel. I gave it a go,
"I thought it had worked but it didn't. The effects wore off months ago."
Ms Bryson was believed to be the first Scot to have benefited from the controversial treatment. Shortly after receiving the therapy last year, she said: "I am now able to walk again. For over a year I could only get about in my wheelchair, so it is amazing the difference in just a matter of days.
"It sounds shocking, but I could feel the difference after just five minutes. Since the treatment I have been transformed. I am doing things I couldn't do a year ago. Hopefully, I will be fully recovered in a year."
Ms Bryson was struck down by the muscle-wasting disease at the age of 14.
Source: The Scotsman ©2006 Scotsman.com
I guess I may I have to find another plan B!