Okay, so we’ve been talking about how stem cell therapy can be used to treat many diseases in human. Now here’s another question. Can stem cell therapy repair spinal damage? Researchers have had this question in their minds for quite a while, and had been doing research and trials on mice. Much like the salamanders that can regrow its limbs, researchers are hoping to find a way to regrow damaged tissues in the human spine.
A group of Australian researchers successfully transformed fat and bone cells extracted from mice into a new type of cell called “induced multipotent stem cells,” or “iMS cells.” The process involves switching off the memories of the cells and converting them into stem cells so they can repair different cell types once they are put back into the body. The iMS cells were injected into mice with a bone graft and new marrow-filled bone and cartilage were formed around the transplant within 12 weeks. The good news is there were no tumor behaviors in the iMS cells after 12 weeks as well.
The results for the trials on mice were positive. Researchers expect to begin doing human trials by the end of 2017. Hopefully the newly found stem cell therapy can potentially treat back and neck pains, spinal disc injury, and joint and muscle degeneration.
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First, let’s get familiar with some statistics. There are nearly 5 million heart failure cases in the US and approximately 550,000 new cases each year. Heart failure is definitely one of the most chronic conditions that cause approximately 287,000 deaths a year in the US. Well, maybe that number of deaths can be reduced by almost half because of stem cell therapy.
Recently, a study was published in the Lancet, found that patients who received stem cell treatment had a 37% lower rate of death and hospitalization. The study was taken place in 2013 where 60 out of 126 patients were injected with their own stem cells while the rest injected with a placebo. The multicellular therapy, called ixmyelocel-T, was taken from the patients’ bone marrow and injected directly into their hearts. This resulted in a lower percentage of death and hospitalization than the placebo group.
Although researchers can’t guarantee that this will cure heart failure at the moment, but this would reduce the number of deaths from heart failure. And this is already good news to the patients with heart problems.
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Have you ever thought of losing the ability to walk after an unfortunate incident? No right? Because it is always terrifying to even think about losing something you once had and took for granted. I couldn’t even imagine what my life would be like if I ever lose the ability to walk. But, a few months ago, stem cell therapy had given us some hope for patients who are paralyzed by multiple sclerosis (MS).
In case you’re not familiar with MS, it is a disease in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves which disrupts communication between the brain and the body. This would cause many different symptoms, but one common one is causing the patient unable to move some parts of the body, especially their legs.
A group of 20 paralyzed patients were treated with stem cell therapy. The treatment is called autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) which aims to destroy the faulty immune system using chemotherapy and rebuilding it with stem cells harvested from the patient’s own blood. Some patient’s showed positive results and could walk again after the whole treatment. Now these patients can gradually go back to their normal lives again.
I am convinced that stem cell therapy is a life changer for many patients in the near future. Learn more about how stem cell therapy can change your life here.