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With a proven track record in regenerative medicene, you're in safe hands
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that affects the brain and central nervous system. It occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks myelin, which is a protective coating that surrounds the nerves. This causes inflammation, which affects the ability of nerves to transmit messages to the brain, causing them to become slower, jumbled or preventing signals from getting through.
Symptoms of MS may include fatigue, difficulty with walking and coordination, and issues with vision and speech. It is a lifelong condition that can be controlled through treatment, which may include medication such as steroids or disease modifying drugs, and physiotherapy. Research suggests stem cell therapy may also be a potential option for certain patients with MS.
Stem cell treatment is a relatively new discipline of regenerative medicine. Where there is an established medical need, a clinician may now prescribe stem cell therapy as a treatment within the UK, in accordance with regulation by the Human Tissue Authority.
Please Note: Whilst the clinic does offer stem cell treatments, no treatment is undertaken until the patient has been reviewed by a consultant (who is a specialist in the relevant field) and approval has been given by the specialist. Patients are informed throughout the process of the limitations of stem cell treatment and it is for the patient to make a final decision in conjunction with his or her consultant.
“Regenerative treatments are an option for people who may have already tried, or considered, conventional treatments. Research using stem cells with latest technology has shown promising results.”
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“Stem cells are located throughout the body and act as natural healers. Studies suggest that when used for medical purposes, stem cells have the potential to accelerate tissue repair, stimulate tissue regeneration, and decrease inflammation.”
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Stem cells are known to possess unique properties, including the ability to self-renew. They can also change into different types of cell in order to perform specific functions, including helping to regulate the immune system. They can also issue instructions to other types of regenerative cells. These properties make stem cells of interest in the field of MS research, which has resulted in a number of studies and clinical trials.
The Multiple Sclerosis Trust in the UK states: "The most studied type of stem cell therapy for MS is autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (often shortened to AHSCT, ASCT or HSCT). This uses your own stem cells, which are collected and then injected back into your body. Early results have been encouraging and understanding how best to treat people with stem cells is improving."
It is estimated that that around 130,000 people in the UK alone have MS. Most people are diagnosed in their 20s or 30, although it can also occur in older or younger patients. It is classed as an autoimmune and neurodegenerative condition, the symptoms of which can vary from mild to severe.
Over time, in around 10% of sufferers, MS can eventually develop into more severe cognitive problems, such as issues with comprehension, difficulty in processing information, brain fog and compromised memory. It is common for people with MS to experience abrupt attacks - or 'flare-ups' - during which symptoms may worsen for a few hours or several months.
Research suggests that stem cells have the potential to slow the progression of MS and repair or regenerate faulty parts of the immune system or nervous system. Haematopoietic stem cells are known to replenish the blood and regenerate tissue. The aim of stem cell therapy is to reboot the body's immune system so that it no longer causes harmful inflammation.
WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
Stem cells are special types of cell that occur naturally within the body. They have the ability to replicate themselves or develop into different types of cells through a process known as differentiation.
Hence stem cells have the potential to become new cells in order to perform specific functions. For example, they can differentiate to become blood cells or other types of cell that are active within the immune system. This process enables stem cells not only to play a unique role in the body's ability to heal itself, but also to encourage the growth of healthy tissue.
HOW ARE STEM CELLS USED IN MEDICINE?
Whist stem cell therapy is relatively new, stem cells have been the subject of over 40 years of research and there have been a large number of clinical trails. A limited number of treatments for certain medical conditions are now available in the UK.
When used for medical purposes, research suggests stem cells can accelerate tissue repair, stimulate tissue regeneration, decrease inflammation, and stimulate new blood vessel growth.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE THERE FOR MS?
There are a number of treatments available for MS, which your doctor can advise you upon. These include drugs to treat specific symptoms and also to manage relapses. Medications include steroid tablets or injections, and disease modifying drugs.
Patients with MS will usually be under the care of a neurologist, who specialises in treating conditions of the central nervous system. It is also common to receive care from one or more other professionals such as a physiotherapists and a speech therapist.
Research into the use of stem cells has also shown promising results for potentially treating MS. Stem cells are known to play a role in regulating the immune system, and further studies are underway. Where there is an established medical need, it may be possible for certain MS patients to explore cellular options.
CAN I HAVE STEM CELL THERAPY?
Stem cell therapy may be considered for people who require an alternative approach to established procedures. It may be suitable for patients aged 18 to 75 or children in special circumstances, whose condition is stable enough to undergo treatment.
The first stage is to book a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner, who will assess your medical history in order to potentially make a pre-approval application. A multi-disciplinary panel of experts will then consider your application.
If you application is approved, you will then be invited undergo a full health screening and detailed tests to ensure stem cell treatment is an appropriate approach for you. Provided you pass the assessment criteria, you may then begin treatment.
WHAT DOES TREATMENT INVOLVE?
Patients generally require a preparation period that may involve a number of procedures to ensure your regenerative system is at its most receptive. The stem cells can typically then be injected into the body, which depending on the nature of your condition can either be done intravenously or by intra-tissue injection; or a combination of both.
WHERE DO THE STEM CELLS COME FROM?
The stem cells may be either 'autologous' or 'allogeneic' and are contained in a prescription created by a regulated medical supplier. Autologous stem cells are processed after being harvested from tissue within the patient's own body, whereas allogeneic stem cells are cultured in a laboratory from a donated source. The prescription is then transferred into the patient.
HOW ARE STEM CELLS REGULATED?
Stem cell therapies are classed as nouvelle treatments or 'specials', which are a permissible category of medicines that are available to meet the clinical needs of an individual patient.
We work with LifePlus Stem Cells, who are regulated to sell and market pure stem cells products as an unlicensed medicine in accordance with quality and safety standards under its own HTA and MHRA licences (The Human Tissue Act 2004 and associated regulation/The Human Tissue (Quality and Safety for Human Application) Regulations 2007 (as amended).
The progress of stem cell patients is carefully monitored and we have a regulatory duty to report any relevant findings to the Royal Free Hospital in London, with a view to stem cell therapy becoming a standardised licensed treatment.
The Cellular & Regenerative practice in Harley Street was co-founded by Dr Aamer Khan, author of the forthcoming book, 'Aesthetic Treatments in Regenerative Medicine: Stem Cells, Stromal Vascular Fraction, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Platelet Rich Fibrin.'
Qualifying as a doctor at the University of Birmingham in 1986 with an MB ChB (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), Dr Khan completed his postgraduate training in University Hospitals Birmingham. He spent 24 years working within the NHS, including many years in General Practice. In 2010, he retired from the NHS to refine protocols at the Harley Street Skin Clinic.
Dr Mike Tees MB, BChir, BSc (Hons), DLO, DRCOG, MRCGP, is a Cambridge medical grad and has racked up over 25 years of experience in the medical profession. Dr Tee is well regarded as an expert in Dermal Fillers, PRP, Thread Lifts, Mole Removal & dermatological minor surgery.
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Every step of your journey with Harley Street Skin is handled with the utmost care and diligence. From your very first consultation, right the way through to follow up and aftercare, Harley Street Skin will guide, advise and support you at every given opportunity. We want to make sure that your time with us is as special to you, as you are to us...
The answer to some of the most common questions you may have
It's only natural to have questions if you are considering pursuing a treatment for the first time, and at Harley Street Skin, it's important to us that you feel confident and comfortable at every stage of your journey. To help you find the answers you need, here are a few of the more common quibbles that we find our clients frequently ask...
The exact origin/cause of MS unfortunately remains unknown, however, we can observe that it is a result of direct threat to the body's immune system.
Your immume system's job is to fight off infection, however in MS patients, the body believes the protective coating of the nerves (the myelin) to be a foreign body which it must defend itself against, and therefore it begins to attack it.
Multiple sclerosis as a condition is characterised by the degredation of this myelin - the nerve's protective sheath - and of the surrounding tissue. Because of this, patients with MS go on to develop nerve damage which confuses and interferes with the signals coming from the brain. This is what is responsible for problems with mobility, stability and muscle control.
Over time, in around 10% of sufferers, this can eventually develop into more severe cognative problems, such as issues with comprehension, difficulty processing information at normal speed, brain fog and compromised memory.
It is also common for sufferers to experience abrupt MS attacks - or 'flare-ups' - where patients will experience a very dramatic worsening of symptoms. These attacks can last anywhere from a few hours to a few months, and are a result of inflammation in the central nervous system. These attacks may be brought on by excessive stress, fatigue, dietary changes, smoking, exposure to heat or as a result of infection elsewhere in the body.
There is ongoing research into the origins and causes of MS - with some potential correlation between not only immunologic and genetic factors, but also obscure environmental ones (such as distance from the equator), too. Of course we are hopeful to one day uncover the truth at the core of MS, however until then - stem cell therapy is proving to be an incredible means of boosting patient quality of life.
It is reported that MS currently affects 130,000 people in the UK alone - with an approximated 7,000 people newly diagnosed every year. According to the National MS Society, this is the equivalent of 1 in every 500 people having MS, with 130 new cases uncoverered every week.
Statistically, women are far more commonly affected by MS than men, and the average diagnosis is made betwen the ages of 30 and 50, although sufferers will likely experience symptoms and indications of the condition long before an official diagnosis is reached.
Stem Cell treatment for MS is geared at reenabling strength, mobility, flexibility and function.
It works by helping to regain control of the body's immune response by rebuilding the fibres that the condition has broken down - this then sees a significant reduction in symptoms. This is possible as stem cells have the ability to replace the faulty cells in the body and work in their place. Because of this, they have a dramatic impact on inflammation where applied. This is also why stem cells are an extremely promising treatment for arthritis and chronic joint pain - amongt other things.
There has been lots of research into the efficacy of stem cell therapy on MS sufferers and its ability to stall and even prevent the diseases's progression, so, for MS sufferers, stem cell treatment can be lifechanging. This is because of the way that it is able to alleviate symptoms including pain, muscle spasms, difficulty walking, slurred speech, issues with balance/coordination, cognitive function - even subsequent anxiety and depression.
Numerous clinical trials have revealed Stem cells to have a significant positive impact on in a patient's level of disability and quality of life, many of them then going on to become fully self-sufficient for a number of years post-treatment. As a result, many sufferers are now opting for the bio-stimulant approach instead of a complex cocktail of cortisteroids, analgesics and extensive physiotherapy.
On a basic level, the stem cell process can be broken down into 3 steps. They are as follows:
The award winning clinic dedicated to helping you be your best self
We understand that deciding to go forward with cosmetic treatment can feel like a huge decision. One that we certainly wouldn't expect you to go ahead with without hearing a little bit about us first. Here is exactly why people around the world are happy to put their trust into Harley Street Skin Clinic.
Since 2004, Harley Street Skin has been on speed dial to some of the world's highest flyers thanks to the expertise of cosmetic tour de force, Dr. Aamer Khan and wife Lesley Reynolds.
With their flagship clinic based on the world’s most famous medical strip, Harley Street Skin quickly became a medical and cosmetic frontrunner, drumming up a pristine professional reputation and impressive roster of celebrity clientele. The clinic was in fact so thriving that it gained the attention of television network SkyOne, becoming the focus of hit documentary series Stitch Me, Lift Me, Tuck Me.
Offering an expansive range of both surgical and non-surgical treatments, Harley Street Skin are renowned worldwide for their cosmetic precision, expertise and minimally invasive techniques. From top of the line body sculpting treatments and cosmetic contouring to breast enhancement and discreet anti-ageing lifts, Harley Street experts offer the A-list experience from consultation through to aftercare.
But that's not all. Harley Street Skin are also pioneering skincare specialists, offering solutions to everything from anti-ageing and resurfacing, to colour correction and hydration.
Carefully formulating the perfect regime for even the most stubborn and unusual of skin complaints, Harley Street Skin boast an acclaimed skin care range frequently making an appearance in beauty mag must-haves, health and lifestyle columns, and celebrity handbags around the world.
With highly skilled practitioners, doctors and surgeons on hand at every turn, Harley Street Skin can help you attain the aesthetic you've been dreaming of - whatever your cosmetology needs.