CLEVELAND -- A first in the nation is happening in Northeast Ohio.
The Cleveland Clinic is studying a specific type of stem cell and how those stem cells might be able to help multiple sclerosis patients.
Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are looking for just a few patients who currently have MS and they are hoping to change the lives of thousands.
There are 350,000 people in the United States who have multiple sclerosis. Kim sparks is one of them.
"When they said we see spots, we think you have MS. I mean my whole world it was a shock," Sparks said.
There are medications to treat MS, but none of them repair the damage done by the disease and that makes some daily chores a challenge.
That’s why doctors are optimistic about a new clinical trial. Doctors and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University will study a certain type of stem cell as a possible treatment for MS.
"We think these stem cells can go from the blood into the damage system to protect and promote repair,” Dr. Jeffrey Cohen said.
This clinical trial is the first of its kind in the U.S. and will involve 24 patients.
"The person has to have MS, at least moderate symptoms, can be on standard therapies,” Cohen said.
For more information on the clinical trial, contact the program coordinator at 216-636-1232.