For Thousands of people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, a plane trip may be more effective than a trip to their doctor’s office. There is a new treatment oversees that is getting some amazing results, but it is not yet allowed in the United States. Here is a look at what the patients are up against. MS is a disease of the CNS. It damages the protective insulation around the nerves and also damages the nerves themselves. That leads to a kind of short circuit causing a loss of bodily function. Channel 8 Janet St. James shows us why some MS patients are taking their treatment abroad.
James: Thirty three year old Angie Adcox went to Costa Rica in September not for the lush scenery, but for the life altering shots of stem cells. A risky and controversial treatment she says she had to take when American medicines failed her.
What she does know is she can wear high heels and stand up without help for the first time in years. Janet St. James, Channel 8 News.
Angie Adcox: “I want to go try this, if not who is to say where I am going to be in another six months. I might be in a home somewhere.”
James: Adcox had joined a growing number of North Texans spreading the word about stem cell injections for Multiple Sclerosis.
Leader of support group: “How many of you have been to Costa Rica at this point?”: Majority of audience raise their hands
James: Most in this support group have seen improvements in pain, balance, vision, clear thinking, and other unseen signs of MS. Five months ago, Joey Quinn was in a wheelchair.
Joey Quinn: “After the third shot that I had with the stem cells, I took my cane away. I got rid of that. I didn’t need it no more.”
James: We asked several specialists to talk to us about this stem cell treatment. They all refused, saying its unproven, potentially dangerous and could give patients false hope. The MS society warns against it, but a small study recently published in the journal Lancet shows stem cells helped 17 out of 21 patients. Julie Balley does not know precise details of the treatment she got four months ago. What she does know is she can wear high heels and stand up without help for the first time in years. Janet St. James, Channel 8 News.