Immune system 'reboot' aids MS patient

A couple of Ottawa doctors working with multiple sclerosis patients are reluctant to use "the C word" -- for cure -- but they're drawing hope from their patients, including a Windsor-born man, in long-term remission.

"The inflammatory nature of the disease has virtually ceased in everyone who has received this transplant," said neurologist Dr. Mark Freedman, a lead investigator with bone marrow transplant specialist Dr. Harold Atkins. "I hate to use the C-word ... but we've induced a very long-lasting remission."

For Windsor-born Aaron Prentice, 35, it's still early, and there are many months of monitoring to come, but he feels fortunate to be a part of the study, which involves transplanting bone marrow stem cells in people with MS to see if the disease can be stopped.

"I've been blessed," he said in a telephone interview from his temporary home in Ottawa, where he moved to be close to the research.

The study investigates theories that an immune system afflicted with MS can be reset.

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