Stem-cell Transplants Show Promise for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

The National Institutes of Health reported in early February of 2017 that the results of a clinical trial for a proposed multiple sclerosis treatment yield evidence supporting its effectiveness in producing long-term remission of the disease. According to this study, a program of high-dose immunosuppressive therapy then followed by a stem-cell transplant using the patient’s own stem cells can induce sustained remission of a form of the disease called relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. This is incredible news for many of Dr. Shiva Gopal Vasishta’s patients, who’ve been suffering from multiple sclerosis symptoms until now without many other hopes for long-term remission.


After receiving the treatment, 69% of test subjects successfully survived five years without any continued progression of their disability from the disease nor any or new lesions on the brain or relapses. Dr. Shiva Gopal Vasishta is most encouraged by the fact that this was achieved without the participants resuming any other multiple sclerosis medication treatment after the trial treatment was completed.


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sponsored the study, called HALT-MS, and the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) which conducted the study. Preliminary results after three years of the trial were reported in December of 2014 while the February 2017 report covers the entire five-year span of the study. This complete report appears in the medical journal “Neurology” published by the American Academy of Neurology.


A Neurologist practicing for over 40 years, Dr. Shiva Gopal Vasishta currently practices at Eastern Neurodiagnostic Associates in Voorhees, New Jersey. He is affiliated as well with Kennedy Health System Cherry Hill Campus. Dr. Shiva Gopal Vasishta earned his degree in 1979 from Government Medical College.


After earning his degree, Dr. Gopal Vasishta completed a residency at Boston City Hospital. In addition to neurology, he specializes in psychiatry. He is also bilingual, treating patients in both English and Spanish.


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