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Greek-Israeli researcher on the cusp of MS medical breakthrough

Professor Dimitrios Karussis visits Australia in need of assistance to complete Hadassah's research

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Dimitrios Karussis. Photo: Supplied

12 February 2018

Pioneer researcher Professor Dimitrios Karussis, the director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Jerusalem's Hadassah's Department of Neurology, is about to make medical history.

Hadassah Hospital, under Professor Karussis' guidance, is creating the groundwork scientific platform for a cure to many formerly incurable neurological diseases.

While the current Hadassah research is centred on Primary Progressive MS, over time the same scientific platform could expand to tackle neurological diseases such as ALS, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's. For now, the research offers dramatic hope for more than 25 million people worldwide dealing with MS.

The trials at Hadassah involve injecting a patient's own stem cells, known as mesenchymal stem cells, which are typically found in fat tissue, umbilical cord and bone marrow, into the spinal fluid. Exciting preliminary results suggest that the Hadassah research may protect damaged neurons and may also help repair damaged cells.

Professor Karussis is set to visit Australia at the start of March accompanied by one of his MS patients, high profile UK-based media lawyer Mark Lewis, whose journey through the groundbreaking medical trial is featured in a powerful BBC documentary In Search of a Miracle Cure.

Lewis was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in his 20s and kept working whilst hiding his diagnosis. Even when the loss of strength and fatigue pinned him in a wheelchair, Lewis brought down Rupert Murdoch's flagship newspaper, News of the World singlehandedly.

Since participating in Professor Karussis' trials, Lewis has had an overwhelming and instantaneous physical response, "within minutes I was getting feeling and movement back," Lewis stated.

"Ongoing clinical trials on new interventions that may one day bring benefits to people with MS are very important no matter where in the world they occur. It's early days with Professor Karussis' work and so we look forward to following his trial data closely and the final published results" says Dr Matthew Miles, CEO of MS Research Australia.

The profits from the conferences held by Hadassah Australia's STEM Neurological Disease campaign will go towards the completion of Professor Karussis' MS research in Jerusalem.

Melbourne: Stem Neurological Disease Launch VIC
Monday 5 March at Beth Weizmann Centre (306 Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield, VIC) at 7.30pm.
Book at trybooking.com/book/sessions?eid=341666

Sydney: Stem Neurological Disease Launch NSW
Thursday 8 March at National Council of Jewish Woman of Australia (NCJWA) (111-113 Queen Street, Woollahra, NSW) at 7.30 pm
Book at trybooking.com/TLLC

For further information, visit stemneurologicaldisease.org

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