Hello - My name is Steve S. and I am one of an estimated 75,000 Americans who have Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Briefly, MSA is a neurological disease resulting from degeneration of certain nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Body functions controlled by these areas behave abnormally in people with the disease. These include the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system (which controls blood pressure, heart rate, and bladder function) and the motor system (control of balance and muscle movement). The cause of MSA is not known and, as of now, there is no cure and no significant treatment.
I don’t believe that last sentence is necessarily correct. There may be no significant treatment here in the United States but innovative medical efforts are underway elsewhere in the world that have shown promising results. In particular, I’m referring to the process where the patient’s own stem cells are extracted from his or her bone marrow, treated, and introduced into the spinal column with the intent to have them replace the defective MSA cells.
The purpose of this blog is to chronicle, step by step, my journey to undergo this innovative procedure at one of these stem cell treatment facilities - the XCell Center in Germany – and to report if it's successful in halting, or better yet, reversing this devastating condition. I hope my experience will be helpful to other MSA patients who are considering undergoing the XCell Center stem cell procedure.
In addition to my experiences with this treatment and its aftermath, I also intend to describe its effect on Fran, my wife of 44 years and my wonderful caregiver. We are taking this journey together.
In this blog I plan to include:
Information about me and the development and current status of my MSA condition
- My experience to date with the XCell Center (contact, procedure, costs, travel, etc.)
- General information about MSA - including a glossary of terms
- Websites covering support groups, medical facilities knowledgeable in MSA issues, additional stem cell clinics, and other information of specific interest
To leave a remark or to view what others have said, simply click on the word “comment” at the end of each post.
One last comment: I have no financial or other interest in the XCell Center and plan to be objective and frank about my experience with them. If I’m unhappy or concerned about any aspect of my treatment – it will appear on this blog
Please include http://msajourney.blogspot.com/ in your Favorites and check back often for updates.
My next post, in a few days, will be a brief description of my MSA history.