HALT-MS Study Reveals a Possible Alternative for Patients with Relapsing-Remitting MS

New research has revealed that elevated dosage of immunosuppressive therapy accompanied by transplantation of an individual’s blood-forming stem cells can lead to sustained disappearance of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Multiple Sclerosis refers to an autoimmune illness where the immune system attacks the Central nervous system (CNS).According to the study, 69% of the patients that had undergone the high-dose immunosuppressive therapy and the hematopoietic cell transplant (HDIT/HCT) survived and had no relapse of MS symptoms, brain lesions or any sort of disability five years later. Moreover, the same patients had not taken any MS medications after undergoing the HDIT/HCT. Further research has shown that the MS medication that is currently available has low success rates.

The clinical trial dubbed HALT-MS was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Antony S. Fauci, a director at NIAID, reported that the results of the trial indicated that one-time treatment with HDIT/HCT was effective as compared to long-term treatment with the best available drugs for individuals with MS.There are different symptoms of MS including chronic pain, weakness/fatigue, and speech difficulties. The most prevalent type of MS is relapsing –remitting MS and can worsen to a progressive form with time.

To test the effectiveness of HALT-MS, the researchers used twenty-four volunteers in examining the safety, effectiveness, and the durability of HDIT/HCT. The volunteers were aged between twenty-six years to fifty-two years and had relapsing-remitting MS. Regardless of taking the clinically accessible medications, the volunteers still experienced active inflammation which was evidenced by recurrent severe relapses and made worse neurological disability.The study revealed that the most of the trial patients remained in remission and had their MS solid five years after HDIT/HCT. Furthermore, some of the patients recovered their mobility or from other physical incapabilities. According to Daniel Rotrosen, a director at NIAID Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation, HDIT/HCT may be the ultimate therapeutic alternative for patients with relapsing-remitting MS.

About Dr. Shiva Vasishita

Dr. Shiva Vasishita is an expert neurologist based in New Jersey. He got his medical degree in 1979 from the Government Medical College Nagpur. Additionally, Dr. Shiva Vasishita is among the 34 neurologists at Kennedy University Hospital.Dr. Vasishita takes parts in the Medicare program, which means takes the Medicare-approved amount without any additional billing to his patients. His NPI number is 1932269982.