Use of Immunosuppressive Therapy in Treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple Sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. It is characterized by symptoms such as motor and speech difficulties, weakness, fatigue, and chronic pain. The most common form of multiple sclerosis is relapsing-remitting MS, characterized by periods of mild or no symptoms inter-sped with symptoms flare-ups or relapse.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is a part of the national institute of health sponsored a trial known as HALT-MS. The trial tested the safety, efficacy, and durability of high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person’s blood-forming cells (HDIT/HCT) in treating MS. The trial treatment aims to suppress active disease and prevent further disability by removing disease-causing cells and resetting the immune system.

The final results of a five-year trial conducted on 24 volunteers aged 26 to 52 years with relapsing-remitting MS showed that 69 percent of participants survived without experiencing progression of disability, relapse of symptoms or new brain lesions. Notably, they did not take any MS medication after undergoing the therapy.

These extended findings suggest that one-time treatment with HDIT/HCT may be considerably more effective than long-term treatment with the best available medications for people with a certain type of MS. It can also induce sustained remission of relapsing-remitting MS.

About Dr. Gopal Vasishta

Dr. Gopal Vasishta is a practicing neurologist based in Voorhees, New Jersey. He studied at the Government Medical College, graduating with a medical degree in 1979. Upon his graduation, he joined the Boston City Hospital to pursue his residency.

Dr. Shiva Gopal Vasishta has over 38 years’ experience in neurology and psychiatry. He associates and is affiliated with Kennedy University Hospital. He also participates in the Medicare program. Currently, Dr. Gopal Vasishta practices at Eastern Neurodiagnostic Associates and accepts some insurance plans, including Aetna, Horizon Blue Shield, and Medicare.