Schwann cells transplanted again

A second patient at Yale has received a transplant of cells in an ongoing clinical trial that is attempting to treat multiple sclerosis by repairing myelin in the brain and spinal cord. “The patient is doing fine,” said Timothy L. Vollmer, M.D., HS ’83, associate professor of neurology. “He has a high level of disability because of the location of the lesions in his brain, but he is otherwise healthy.”

Vollmer and his team performed the surgery in two stages in early March, and the 29-year-old patient was discharged a few days later. The team harvested Schwann cells found in peripheral nerves of the patient’s ankle and transplanted them into his brain. Their goal is to determine whether the Schwann cells survive in the brain and are able to restore myelin, a protective sheathing that is destroyed by multiple sclerosis.

Five patients are scheduled to participate in this clinical trial. The first was a woman who received a transplant last July. The trial is supported by the Myelin Project.

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