Several million people across the globe are living with the condition known as MS or multiple sclerosis. The majority of them were diagnosed with this condition between 20-40 years of age.
Due to the complexity of the condition, diagnosing MS requires a multi-stage testing process. Once a positive diagnosis has been obtained, patients have several treatment options available to them, which we’ll outline below.
The Diagnosis Process
To diagnose multiple sclerosis, doctors rely on a variety of tests that are designed to rule out other medical conditions. This is necessary because there are no specific diagnostic procedures for detecting MS. The diagnosis process may include:
Blood Tests:During initial testing, blood samples are used to rule out common conditions that present similar symptoms to MS. These blood tests also check for unique biomarkers that are associated with MS.
Spinal Tap:Depending on the results of the blood tests, the physician may schedule a spinal tap next. This test involves puncturing the lumbar spine in order to remove a small amount of cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid is then subjected to laboratory analysis and checked for abnormal antibodies linked to MS.
MRI:An MRI or magnetic resonance imaging test is used to identify lesions on the spinal cord and brain. These lesions are a common sign of MS. Oftentimes, patients receive an IV injection of a “contrast material.” This substance helps to highlight legions during the MRI scan.
Evoked Potential Tests:An evoked potential test documents electrical signals that are created by your nervous system. It can use electrical stimuli or verbal stimuli in order to prompt your nervous system to create impulses. The goal of this test is to determine how fast information is traveling down nerve pathways.
MS Treatment Options
While MS has no cure, there are several viable treatment options available. These treatments can enhance the quality of life of MS sufferers and mitigate their symptoms. MS treatments include:
Corticosteroids:Corticosteroids are used to reduce nerve inflammation. They can be administered orally or through an IV. However, corticosteroids do present a risk for several side effects, such as insomnia and increased blood sugar.
Plasma Exchange:Plasma is the liquid component of blood. During this treatment, the plasma is removed and separated from the patient’s blood cells. The cells are combined with albumin (protein solution) and put back into the patient’s body.
Stem Cell Therapy:Stem cell therapy is an alternative treatment option for patients with MS. It is being used to potentially help patients suffering from symptoms of neurodegenerative conditions. Stem cells stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities and have the potential to help manage MS symptoms. If you or a loved one suffers from MS, stem cell therapy may be an option to explore as an alternative treatment.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that currently affects nearly 6 million people worldwide and is currently the second most common neurological condition, behind only Alzheimer’s.
Although the exact cause of PD remains unclear, the condition is characterized by the gradual loss of nerve cells in the brain responsible for producing the neurotransmitter dopamine. While no cure for PD currently exists, current therapeutic treatment approaches focus on improving quality of life but are not able to prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
Recent research has demonstrated positive effects of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation that has been associated with secromes; noted beneficial effects include providing a self-regulated regenerative response that limits the area of lesions. Additionally, these MSC-derived secretomes compose soluble factors and encapsulated extravesicles (EV). These EVs have been found to have a significant impact on physiological processes, including cell-to-cell communication.
Considering MSCs are readily available and easily isolated from a number of sources, including adipose tissue, umbilical cord Wharton’s Jelly, bone marrow, and dental pulp, these stem cells are thought to hold potential as a therapeutic approach to managing PD.
As part of this review, d’Angelo et al. highlight a number of studies demonstrating the potential of MSCs in improving a number of conditions and symptoms consistent with those demonstrated in PD. In these studies, animal models demonstrate improved motor behaviors and correction of functional impairment after transplantation of MSCs.
The authors point out that further research exploring cell-free, therapeutic, personalized approaches for the different neurodegenerative diseases, including PD, is needed.
d’Angelo et al. also note that, while MSC-derived secretomes have shown positive effects on neuronal cell survival, differentiation, and proliferation, further studies are needed to fully understand all of the bioactive molecules.
Since MSC-derived secretomes are able to stimulate neurotrophic and neuronal survival pathways and appear to counteract neuronal death, they could potentially be a beneficial tool in future management and prevention efforts for a number of neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and stroke.
In recent years, people across the nation have become more conscious of the foods they consume. You may have implemented basic detoxing tips or started to work on cleaning up your diet.
However, one of the most popular whole grains out there has some hidden side effects that you should know about. While it is often considered a healthier alternative to white rice, brown rice may have some effects to consider.
Brown Rice Contains Small Amounts of Arsenic
Arsenic is a toxic chemical that may be present in brown rice. This toxin has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Some studies suggest that rice contains concentrations of arsenic that are up to 10 times that of other grains. If you decide to eat brown rice, do so in limited quantities and make sure to rinse it thoroughly before cooking, as this can help reduce the concentration of arsenic.
Brown Rice Can Cause Digestive Issues
Brown rice is richer in fiber than white rice and many other grains. While consuming more fiber has its benefits, some individuals are sensitive to it. In those individuals, excessive brown rice consumption can cause digestive distress, such as constipation or bloating.
To reduce your risk of experiencing this side effect, you may want to consider limiting your grain intake. Working anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can also be beneficial for your overall wellbeing.
Brown Rice Can Elevate Your Blood Sugar
Especially when consumed in large quantities, brown rice can elevate your blood sugar. It has about as many carbs per serving as white rice, which means that you should consume it in moderation.
While eating brown rice certainly has its benefits, you should be aware of how much you are consuming at any one meal. When incorporated into a healthy way of eating, brown rice is an enjoyable grain that pairs well with just about any protein.
With nearly 30 million people in the US affected by osteoarthritis (OA), the condition continues to be among the leading causes of chronic pain and disability. Considering that advances in medical technology have increased overall life expectancy, the number of people living longer and dealing with the effects of OA is expected to increase for the foreseeable future.
Although modern medicine has improved the way most diseases and chronic conditions are diagnosed and treated, OA treatment has not benefited from these advances. As a result, treatment and prevention of OA continue to focus primarily on controlling and minimizing symptoms associated with the condition, not treating or preventing the condition itself. Unfortunately, for many, when symptoms of OA progress to a point where the pain is no longer able to be managed, their options look to surgical replacement of the affected joint.
While there are many contributing factors related to the onset and progression of OA, including obesity, history of trauma, genetics, and heritable and acquired disorders, there also appears to be an association between the onset of OA and a depleted local population of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
Considering the apparent relationship between OA and MSCs, Freitag et al. reviewed the reparative pathways, safety, and efficacy of MSC therapy in the treatment of osteoarthritis.
With their ease of harvest and ability to expand into chondrocytes, MSCs have continued to gain interest when exploring various stem cell therapies for the active management of pain and symptoms associated with OA.
Freitag et al. found that preclinical and clinical results of studies of cartilage repair techniques that utilize MSCs, including MSC scaffold transplantation techniques, MSC injectable techniques, MSC as a vehicle for platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and hyaluronic acid (HA) as an active carrier of MSCs, have all shown favorable results in supporting the benefits of MSC for the improvement of function and regeneration of new tissue in those afflicted with OA.
With over 400 active trials currently examining the efficacy of MSCs in the treatment of a variety of conditions, including OA, the safety of utilizing MSC therapy continues to draw interest from the medical community.
Although some early studies appeared to raise the question of abnormal cell growth, and ultimately the safety, associated with MSC therapy, the authors’ systematic review of clinical trials found that, while caution needs to be undertaken when culturing MSCs, the evidence demonstrates MSCs are generally safe for therapeutic use for the treatment of OA.
Freitag et al. conclude that the rapid progression of OA and related conditions demonstrate the need for therapies that repair and prevent these diseases, not just manage pain and related symptoms. As such, the authors feel MSC therapy offers a safe and viable option for the eventual treatment and prevention of OA and calls for further randomized controlled trials to evaluate the most effective applications of MSCs for managing osteoarthritis.
The supplement and health industries are ever-evolving. Due to the constantly changing supplement landscape, it can be difficult to sort out genuine products from fads that do not offer any real value to consumers.
Recently, peptides have become a part of the supplement market. Peptides are essential to human life and are naturally occurring compounds that are present in every living cell. They are made of short chains of at least two amino acids and serve many different biological purposes.
Unlike many other supplements, peptides like ARA-290 can offer patients an affordable alternative to manage pain, improve symptoms, and promote healing.
What is ARA-290?
ARA-290 is a peptide that is derived from erythropoietin (EPO). EPO has been utilized for decades because of its ability to stimulate red blood cell production within bone marrow. It can also alter a patient’s blood pressure, promote cell survival, and create a neuroprotective effect.
While ARA-290 does not stimulate red blood cell production, it does offer pain-relieving and neuroprotective effects. It also has the potential to stimulate wound repair in patients with chronic diabetes, but this property is still being researched.
The full scope of ARA-290s benefits is still being researched. However, it has the potential to decrease the user’s inflammatory pathways through a process known as paracrine signaling. It has also been linked to reduced HbA1c and improved cholesterol numbers. Studies that have produced these results are still in the trial stages.
Perhaps the most appealing possibility for ARA-290 is that it may have the ability to reduce neuropathic symptoms and stimulate natural wound repair processes.
This peptide serves as an exciting treatment option for patients that are dealing with chronic neuropathic pain and diabetes-related ailments. It can also be safely paired with other peptides like BPC-157, which has healing properties.
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