Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

What Causes Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the insulating fat layers (myelin) in the brain and spinal cord. Myelins are the fat layers that wrap around the long arm of neurons (axons) and allow nerve signals to transmit more efficiently. 

The autoimmune attacks and inflammation in MS destroy neurons and axons over time. These damages can distort nerve impulses, leading to the abnormal and progressive decline of nerve functions and many disabling symptoms.

The exact cause of MS is unknown, but it’s believed to result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. MS disrupts the connections between cells in your central nervous system. These include between nearby myelin cells and between myelin and neurons. As a result, the axons don’t transmit nerve impulses to the nearby neurons accurately. The disruptions of normal nerve impulses can lead to
  • Muscle weakness, stiffness, and tremors
  • Difficulty with coordination and balance
  • One-sided vision problems such as:
    • Pain during eye movement
    • Vision loss
    • Flashing lights
    • Color vision loss
  • Strange sensations such as numbness, tingling, or shocks
  • Issues with bladder and bowel function. 
Other common symptoms include fatigue, depression, and problems with memory and thinking. MS symptoms also tend to worsen in situations where body temperature increases, like during hot baths or exercise.  Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects people of all races and ethnicities but is most commonly diagnosed in:
  • Women between the ages of 20 and 50
  • People living further from the equator – particularly of northern European descent
  • People with low serum vitamin D levels 
MS is considered a relatively rare condition, affecting approximately 2.3 million people worldwide. The course of MS can be highly variable and unpredictable, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe and potentially progressing over time 1.

Stages of multiple sclerosis

  1. Clinically Isolated Syndrome (CIS) is the first instance of symptoms caused by damage to myelin in the central nervous system. This tends to come before an MS diagnosis.
  2. Relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) is a form of MS with predictable, cyclical worsening and relieving of symptoms. Almost 85% of patients with an MS diagnosis have this form. 
  3. Secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) is a progression of RRMS where cycles of remission get shorter and symptoms progressively worsen and last longer.

Primary-progressive MS (PPMS)
is a rare form of MS that has no remission periods and a slow and steady disease progression.

Stem Cell Therapy for Strokes FAQ

The Scientific Rationale Behind Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Currently, there is no known cure for multiple sclerosis. The standard-of-care treatments may slow down disease progression but do not reverse demyelination damage done to the central nervous system. Most drugs for MS also have unpleasant side effects that tend to lower the quality of life. Some patients may not respond well to the available treatments or may not be eligible for certain treatments due to other health conditions or contraindications.  This is where stem cell therapy can uniquely deliver benefits.  Stem cell therapy can help with MS by replacing damaged or destroyed nerve cells in the central nervous system with healthy, functioning stem cells. This can help reduce many negative  symptoms associated with the condition 1.

How Much Does Stem Cell Therapy Cost for Multiple Sclerosis?

The cost depends on the specific treatment you will be undergoing and how many treatment sessions you need. Book a consultation with us today to get your personalized stem cell therapy treatment plan.

How Many Treatments Will I Need?

Typically, you will need 1 – 2 treatments, depending on the plan of care established between you and your doctor. All treatment appointments are in person, but the initial consultation and follow-up can be done by phone.  

Some people do come back for additional treatments over the course of months or years. This largely depends on the stage of your disease, how well you respond to the treatment, and what your treatment goals are.

Your Patient Journey with Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Step 1: Application and initial consultation

Our questionnaire and initial consultation help us determine whether you’re a good candidate for stem cell therapy, along with the best treatment plans for you. Our patient advocate will walk you through the process, pricing, and payment plans.

Step 2: Physical exam

You’ll come in for a physical exam in preparation for the treatment and also to assess your current symptoms and health status.

Step 3: Stem cell collection

Your procedure will begin where we harvest cells from your bone marrow or fat tissues. We will then isolate the stem cells from these tissues in the clinic before administering your first treatment

Step 4: Stem cell culture

If applicable, we will send your stem cells to the lab to expand them in numbers. 

Step 5: Future treatments

Your future stem cell treatments will be done using your cultured stem cells. 

Step 6: Follow-up appointments

Our team will keep in contact with you to monitor your treatment progress and support you through your recovery.

Advantages of Stem Cell Therapy vs Standard Treatments and Other Alternative Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis


Regenerates new neurons instead of treating the symptoms of neuron loss.

Minimal Side Effects

Peace of mind knowing you won’t experience the downsides of traditional treatment approaches.

Deeper Approach

Treats a fundamental underlying mechanism of the disease.

Results May Last Years

By combatting neuron loss, benefits may last many months to years.

No Daily Pill To Take

Nothing to do after your in-office treatment except let your body do its job.

Harnesses Your Own Healing Power

Use the power of your own stem cells and biology to do the healing.

Current Standard-of-Care Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis and Their Shortfalls

The current standard of care treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) include:

Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs)

Designed to slow the progression of MS and reduce the frequency of relapses. Some of the commonly used DMTs include:

Interferons are a type of protein in the body that fights infections. Interferon beta-1b treats MS by reducing inflammation and limiting the ability of immune cells to attack myelin. Common side effects include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Mood changes
  • Injection-site reactions
  • Reduction in white blood cells (leukopenia)

Glatiramer acetate
is a synthetic protein that blocks immune cells from attacking and destroying myelin, reducing the frequency of relapses. Common side effects include:

  • Injection-site reactions
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea and dizziness

is a synthetic antibody that blocks immune cells from traveling into the brain to and attacking myelin, reducing the frequency of relapses. Side effects include:

  • Headaches, joint pain, fatigue
  • Increased risk of brain infections
  • Hepatitis
  • Urinary tract infections

is an immune modulating medication that reduces the number of immune cells and decreases their ability to enter the central nervous system and damage myelin. Side effects include:

  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Increased risk of infections and skin cancer


Reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms during an MS flare-up. 

Side effects of corticosteroid treatments may include:

  • Mood changes
  • Increased appetite, weight gain, and obesity, which can worsen MS
  • Headache
  • Heart palpitations
  • Ankle swelling
  • Stomach upset
  • Rash

Symptomatic treatments

These are drugs and therapies that are used to treat specific symptoms of MS:

  1. Bladder dysfunction: catheterization or pharmaceuticals like oxybutynin
  2. Spasticity (muscle stiffness): baclofen 
  3. Pain: anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)

Despite the availability of these treatments, they are not effective in all patients, and some individuals may experience side effects. Although DMTs reduce the flare-ups in MS, they do not fix the damage done to the nervous system or slow the progression of the disease.

Some patients may not respond well to the available treatments or may not be eligible for certain treatments due to other health conditions or contraindications.


Neuromodulation is an experimental technique that uses electrical or magnetic stimulation from an MRI machine to modify the nervous system’s activity. Several different techniques exist to improve MS.

  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves tremors and severe nerve pain in the face.
  • Spinal cord stimulation improves MS-related pain and bladder dysfunction. 
  • Sacral neuromodulation also improves bladder overactivity. 
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) decreases motor symptoms and increases neurorehabilitation in MS patients.

The effectiveness of neuromodulation treatments varies from patient to patient. It can be very effective in managing symptoms or have no visible effect at all. No neuromodulation techniques definitively cure the disease processes of MS

Physical and occupational therapy

Physical therapy (PT) improves muscular symptoms of MS like
  • Muscle strength
  • Flexibility
  • Coordination
  • Balance 
  • Posture 
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
Use of assistive devices, such as canes or braces, also help with mobility and balance. Occupational therapy helps with activities of daily living, such as 
  • Dressing
  • Bathing
  • Grooming 
Occupational therapy (OT) also provides adaptations to home or work environments to make daily activities easier and safer. None of the techniques taught in PT or OT cure symptoms of MS, but help manage the current state of the disease.  While the current standard of care treatments for MS can provide benefits for many patients, they do have limitations and fall short in certain cases. This creates a need for new and innovative treatments for MS, like stem cell therapy 1,11.

Meet The Doctors

Bringing years of experience in the emerging and innovative field of interventional and regenerative orthopedics to the Nashville, Tennessee area.

Dr. Ethan Kellum, M.D.

Dr. Hemal V. Mehta, M.D.

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