Stem Cell Therapy: An Overview
A form of regenerative medicine, the objective of stem cell therapy is to repair the damaged body cells. This objective is achieved by immune system regulation, reducing its inflammatory responses is the key component of this strategy. As you will learn in the upcoming sections of this discussion as well, stem cell therapy has become a viable option for the treatment of several diseases & disorders. It is pertinent to mention here that stem cell therapy doesn’t promise a one hundred percent recovery in every single instance. However, credible scientific evidence tells us that it does a very good job of mitigating the pain associated with certain diseases. Hence, one can conclude that stem cell therapy can improve the quality of life by a significant factor.
There are multiple sources from which stem cells can be obtained. Some of these sources include the bone marrow, placental tissue, umbilical cord blood, and in some cases, adipose tissues. As far as their administration is concerned, again, multiple routes can be utilized for this purpose. Some of these ways include IV, Intrathecal, and site-specific injections.
Determinants of Effectiveness
In the following lines, we discuss the effectiveness of stem cell therapy. To answer this question, we have to analyse the factors that are involved in determining the effectiveness of stem cell therapy. We talk about these factors briefly now.
Nature of Injury
The extent to which your tissues have been damaged is a primary determinant of stem cell therapy’s effectiveness. Minor injuries like partial tissue tears will take less time to heal, as compared to major Injuries that lead to complete tissue tearing. However, some serious injuries, for example, knee ligament injuries can be treated via stem cell therapy as well. How quickly you opt for stem cell therapy post-injury is another factor that can impact the efficiency of stem cell therapy.
Age is one of the most important factors in this list. Once our hairs start greying, the number of healthy cells that our body has dipped down greatly. This hampers the effectiveness of stem cell therapy. How? Well, one key manner in which the stem cells bring about recovery is by instructing the healthy cells in our body to multiply. This multiplication leads to the creation of additional healthy cells. But if the elderly individuals hesitate and waste precious time in making the call on option for the procedure, well there might be an issue. However, this still doesn’t change the fact that stem cell therapy is extremely effective in elderly individuals as well.
Stem Cell Type Used
We have already mentioned the multiple sources from which stem cells can be derived. Stem cells from different sources have a varying degree of efficiency. For example, consider the adipose-derived stem cells. They are a popular choice for many favourable reasons. Hence, the outcome of your stem cell therapy might not be the same, if other stem cell types are used. It is worth mentioning here that only the properly collected and enriched stem cells can produce the desired healing effect.
Like any other treatment, stem cell therapy will also lose its effectiveness, if you don’t make changes in your lazy lifestyle on an immediate basis. By that, we don’t mean that you must jog a mile every morning or engage in intense cardio. On the contrary, it is the habits like smoking or drinking heavily that you will have to give up. These two habits in particular can hamper the healing process initiated by stem cell therapy greatly.
Stem Cell Therapy’s Effectiveness in Specific Conditions
Does stem cell therapy lead to one hundred percent recovery in every disease and disorder? Let us have a look at the effectiveness of stem cell therapy in some common diseases to find out the answer.
Our body’s immune system attacks its tissues in an autoimmune disorder. While certain medications and treatments provide relief in the case of autoimmune disorders, a plethora of side effects associated with these medicines necessitates a novel treatment. Stem cell therapy certainly gives us hope, since the side effects are not too many. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, stem cells minimize the immune system’s response considerably. Similarly, in the case of lupus, stems cells reduce the damage to the internal body organs.
Stem cells’ ability to regenerate neurons gives scientists hope that they can be the ultimate cure for neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. It is believed that the regeneration of neurons in the brain can slow down the progression of these disorders greatly. Similar optimism has also been shown in the case of spinal cord injuries. The biggest plus that stem cell therapy offers in this instance is that the recovery time is significantly less as compared to conventional surgeries.
Do you feel like your joints are about to give up? Well, we would ask you to hang on a little longer, for there might be some hope for you, courtesy the stem cell therapy. The remarkable efficiency of stem cells in repairing ligaments can be utilized to treat ACL injuries. Similarly, positive results were obtained in the case of osteoarthritis treatment with stem cells as well. Osteoarthritis is different from other forms of arthritis in the sense that the damaged cartilage is not replaced by our body naturally. However, stem cells can transform into cartilage and make up for the lost part.
That would be all from this discussion. We wish we could have gone on a bit more, stem cell therapy is quite a diverse topic with many complexities involved. Alas! We are bound by the limitations of time and space. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that you must have learned something if not everything new about this new medical treatment that is becoming quite popular. Almost hopeless patients now have something to rely on. Isn’t that awesome? Well, it is on this optimistic note that we bid you farewell from this space!