‘Best time’ to travel to Russia for stem cell transplants – BBC News

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Two Scottish women living with multiple sclerosis for almost 20 years have travelled to Russia for what they hope will be life-changing treatment.

Jill McLaren and Michele Murray had planned earlier trips to a private Moscow clinic but they were cancelled because of Covid travel restrictions.

Both women had to shield themselves from the virus.

They have now been granted visas by the Russian authorities and will have stem cell transplants over the coming weeks.

Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is an aggressive procedure that carries risks.

The MS Society Scotland said that while “some people see life-changing results” the treatment was not effective for all types of the disease and those considering it should discuss it carefully with their GP or neurologist.

Afterwards, the women will be extremely vulnerable to serious infections and could take more than a year to recover.

‘Safest time to travel’