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Tag Archive: stem cells

Stem cell treatment for Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure is a serious medical condition in which the heart is unable to effectively pump blood throughout the body for its normal function. It has a wide range of structural, electrical or functional causes. Common causes include cardiomyopathy, hypertension, heart valve problems and coronary artery disease.

 

Treatment for various types of heart failure depends on its underlying cause and severity, and may include a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, implantable devices and surgical procedures.

 

Despite major advances in medicine over the past decades, CHF therapy options are underwhelming in the results they produce. CHF is still related to unacceptably high death rates. Current CHF treatment may improve symptoms and signs, to reduce heart failure-related hospital admissions, and above all to improve patients’ survival, but there is no definitive cure.

most recent trial show that patients receiving stem cell therapy had significantly improved heart function

Stem cell therapy for CHF

Stem cells are body’s own pluripotent cells that are able to differentiate into specific cells, such as cardiomyocytes. In the setting of heart failure, stem cells can replace damaged cardiac muscle tissue and promote healing through growth factors. Mesenchymal stem cells can be harvested from human umbilical cord tissue and injected into the failing heart.
All stem cells are screened for infectious diseases and cleared for use in patients. Patient’s own stem cells, derived from the bone marrow, can be used as well but they have been to have a modest benefit.

 

Overall, chances of success can be improved by giving more highly selected stem cells from a donor around the time of a heart attack, or giving a patient’s own cardiac stem cells late after a heart attack.

Stem cell therapy for CHF has yet to be proven fully safe and their benefits fully established. Randomized clinical trials evaluating these different approaches are underway and promising results are beginning to emerge.

 

Results from the most recent trial show that participants receiving stem cell therapy had significantly improved heart function than those who did not. It was also associated with significant improvement in symptoms, such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Furthermore, no adverse events were found to be associated with stem cell therapy. These studies are showing promising results regarding the improvement of the heart’s ejection fraction, patients’ functional capacity, and quality of life. These results were seen with non-ischemic HF. It also appears that there is no “fit-all” stem cell therapeutic approach, and future therapeutic strategies involving stem cells will be more personalized to the patient’s condition, including its underlying causes and clinical stage.

 

These early results have been encouraging but evidence from more large-scale trials will need to be seen before stem cell therapy can be considered as a fully validated treatment for symptomatic patients with CHF.

Stem cell treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

What is ALS?

This disease is named after New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig who developed it in 1939. More formally known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is a neurodegenerative disease of an unknown cause that is characterized by degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. It often moves very quickly from weakness in limbs to progressive paralysis and eventually, respiratory failure. It typically occurs in the forties through seventies. is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It has been very difficult to find effective treatments for ALS.

Numerous trials are underway that testing new approaches that use stem cells for ALS treatment

What are Stem cells?

Stem cells are the body’s own cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. These daughter cells either become new stem cells or differentiate into specialized cells (blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle, etc.) There are several sources of stem cells:

  • Embryonic stem cells: come from 3 – 5 days old embryos. These are pluripotent stem cells and can divide into more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body, and can be used to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs.
  • Adult stem cells: found in most adult tissues, such as bone marrow or fat. They have a more limited ability to differentiate into various cells of the body. Lately, it has been found that adult stem cells may be able to create unrelated types of cells, such as bone marrow stem cells forming heart muscle cells.
  • Perinatal stem cells: are found in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood.

 

Stem cell treatment for ALS

There has been a lot of research on using stem cells for the treatments for ALS. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been used as a source of motor neurons from individual ALS patients to study why and how motor neurons degenerate in ALS. Both upper and lower motor neurons, as well as astrocytes, can be made from iPSCs.

Motor neurons derived from iPSCs can be tracked over time to understand if a test compound has a positive or negative effect. Furthermore, comparing the motor neurons derived from iPSCs can help understand patients’ clinical picture.

More importantly, stem cells can also help in treating the disease. They can be used to produce cells that motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

 

Several trials are underway that testing new approaches that use stem cells for ALS treatment. One of these includes using mesenchymal stem cells can be taken from the patient’s own bone marrow or fat tissue and then modified to enhance their support for dying motor neurons. Another trial is focused on studying the effects of injecting muscle tissue into the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. A recent study in JAMA Neurology reported that the treatment was safe and well-tolerated, resulting in a decreased rate of disease progression during six months after the injections, as compared to six months before treatment.

There is still a lack of high-quality evidence to guide the clinical use of stem cell therapies for the treatment of ALS in the clinic, but the results of recent and current trials have been very encouraging.

What are the Uses for Amniotic-Derived Stem Cell Treatments?

Amniotic tissue is made up from two different cells, and it has many uses that go far beyond the areas of the body where the tissue is naturally present. The unique properties of the tissue have shown that it offers regenerative properties for the body. Those who are researching this topic are interested in learning why exactly amniotic tissue is able to provide restoration to the body when damage has occurred.

The use of the stem cells present within the tissue has shown to be one of the most effective methods of restoring damage to the body. While stem cells can be difficult to collect from certain areas of the body, they are highly concentrated within this tissue, which makes them easily available. Additionally, amniotic-derived stem cells are able to treat a variety of different conditions.

Pain Management from Amniotic-Derived Stem Cells

When an injury occurs within the body, pain is almost always present. In order to provide real pain relief, and not that seen with prescription medication which only hides the pain, the area must be able to heal. When the amniotic-derived stem cells that are taken from the tissue are injected into the damaged area, healing has shown to occur at a rapid rate, which explains how this type of therapy is effective in promoting pain relief for a variety of different conditions.

While the use of amniotic-derived stem cells is still being studied, the use of these cells from the tissue has shown to be effective in treating conditions such as arthritis, soft tissue injuries, and even pain that occurs due to plastic surgery. When the stem cells are used after plastic surgery, they are also effective in providing a much faster rate of healing in the area where the surgery was done. This can even reduce the amount of scarring that occurs due to a slower healing process.

For the treatment of difficult to heal wounds, amniotic fluid derived treatments may help them heal. Diabetic wounds that may not otherwise heal can receive a boost with the amniotic treatments.

Useful Treatments with Stem Cells

While they are commonly used for regular conditions of arthritis, amniotic-derived stem cells are also showing to be effective in treating degenerative arthritis, which was previously known to be an ongoing process, which only gets worse over time. By healing the area that is getting weaker, the process of damage will be reversed, and it will be much harder for arthritis to continue to expand. The injections have also shown to be an effective treatment option for rotator cuff tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis, and a variety of other similar conditions.

Amniotic-derived stem cell treatment has also shown to be very effective in the use of cellular therapy. Due to the immuno-privileged properties that the cells have, there isn’t the risk of the body rejecting the cells, which can occur with certain types of treatment, such as blood transfusions.

Amniotic Tissue Used for Treatments

This tissue used in amniotic-derived stem cell treatment is taken from amniotic fluid, which if often discarded after birth. Amniotic fluid has an incredible amount of stem cells in it, with the extra bonus that none of them are embryonic so there are no ethical concerns.

R3 offers Board Certified doctors who provide regenerative medicine treatments for several conditions in numerous areas of medicine. Amniotic fluid derived stem cell treatments do not involve harvesting from the patient and are performed as an outpatient.

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