Updated: April 30, 2020
While it is understandable that many MSA patients may want to try anything possible, stem cell treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are still highly experimental and The MSA Coalition cannot recommend them at this time. In fact, our scientific advisors who are expert in MSA do not recommend trying stem cells outside of a scientific protocol. This means that clinics around the globe that charge exorbitant amounts of money for “stem cell cures” are to be avoided. The vast majority of these clinics are not doing scientific studies.
How can you recognize a scientific study? Here are some questions to ask:
1. Does the clinic employ standard measures to record patient symptoms and changes in function before and after the treatment? Several standardized scales exist that would be very easy to apply, including the Unified MSA Rating Scale (UMSARS) and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS).
If no standard rating scale measurements are being done before and after treatment, this is a red flag.
2. Has the research been published in reputable peer reviewed scientific journals? Legitimate researchers welcome others to review and build upon their work.
If their work is not being published, this is a red flag.
3. Does the clinic charge an exorbitant amount of money to be involved in the trial? Usually clinical trials do not charge any money for patients to be involved and they may even pay for the patient and a caregiver to travel to the study or reimburse their out of pocket costs.
If the clinic is charging a large amount of money to be involved, this is a red flag.
Be An Informed Patient
Please be an informed consumer when you are exploring claims from companies offering stem cells, either overseas or in the USA. Check out this comprehensive information from the FDA that gives all the facts and guidelines on what questions to ask to help ensure you are making an informed choice.
Recognized scientific research
There are a handful of legitimate scientific research studies on mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) in MSA that we are currently aware of. Please refer to the MSA Coalition’s MSA Treatment Pipeline page for more information.
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