Hadassah

MS Patient Walks into a Bright Future

Thursday, Aug 13 2015

MS patient Linda Jayaram Barish of Houston, TX treated with her own harvested stem cells

Bit by bit, MS patient Linda Jayaram Barish of Houston, TX found it harder to walk and function every day. She moved around her home by holding onto furniture. She never went any distance without her stand up electric scooter.

When Linda and her husband David visited Israel, a Hadassah friend in Houston arranged for them to see Prof. Dmitrios Karussis, Head of Hadassah Medical Organization's Multiple Sclerosis Center and a world authority on stem cell treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Prof. Karussis ordered an MRI, assessed her condition, and then harvested Linda’s own bone marrow stem cells in a short, 20-minute procedure. He asked the couple to return in two months, by which time the small number of cells would grow in the lab to tens of millions.  Immediately following the procedure, Linda and David knew they had to visit the Kotel. They were overwhelmed by the possibility that the progression of Linda’s MS could be stopped or reversed.

Two months later, Prof. Karussis injected the stem cells directly into her spinal cord—a treatment developed at HMO. Eleven injections and several years later, Linda is walking without a cane and she has given away her scooter.


At this point in time, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA)is not aware of any stem cell treatments for MS occurring in the United States. Several North American medical centers also have clinical trials, although HWZOA is not aware of their treatment or use of stem cells.

Hadassah Medical Organization may have room for patients in their clinical trials with MS, provided such patients meet specific criteria such as they have MS with moderate disability and be willing to spend a year in Israel for the treatment. There is no guarantee of being accepted in the clinical trial and the treatment may not be suitable for everyone. Please reach out to Prof. Yoram Weiss, Director of Hadassah’s hospital at Ein Kerem, weiss@hadassah.org.il for further information.

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