Here's a bit of info for anyone researching stem cell procedures. It's recent correspondance from a researcher at the Univ. of Mass - Med.
We have been performing stem cell transplants for MS at my old university for several years, and we will be opening a protocol for MS here in the next month or two. We have generally found that the more prolonged and severe the damage, the worse the outcome and the less reversible the disease. Generally we ask that patients still be ambulatory and have relapsing remitting MS, so that we know that we are not dealing with alot of permanent and irreversible nerve damage at the time they come.. Many insurers try to deny coverage for these transplants, but often they pay most of the bill, but not the stem cell collection or transplant itself. In Chicago, my old partners, Yu Oyama and Richard Burt are performing these transplants at NOrthwestern University and here in MA I will be performing them with the neurologist Dr Michael Glantz.