Every year, approximately 350,000 Americans experience severe and moderate traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that can result in long-term disabilities. Unfortunately, there are no effective treatments to improve the structural repair and recovery of function in patients who suffer from a TBI. Regenerative medicine methodologies, and stem cells, in particular, offer the most promising options for repairing damage and restoring performance for patients with long-term effects from a TBI. Here we talk about how stem cells help brain injury and the science behind it.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are special, due to their ability to become new types of cells. The entire human body originated as a cluster of stem cells. Stem cells are the only cells in the body that can divide to create specialized cells, such as brain or blood cells.
Since many specialized cells, like neurons, cannot divide to create new cells, stem cells’ unique ability to differentiate into the needed cells surrounding them allows breakthrough alternative medicine options in patients who previously had no opportunities for recovery.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
A physician extracts stem cells from a patient in a stem cell therapy treatment. Those cells often come from the patient’s bone marrow or fat tissue. The doctor then readministers the cells into the targeted areas.
The stem cells begin dividing to create the cells needed to repair the damage and replace dead cells. This process allows stem cells to help manage the root cause of pain, condition, and injury, instead of the traditional approach of managing and masking symptoms.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Brain Injuries?
While neurons cannot divide to create new cells, adult neural stem cells can divide and should have the functionality to differentiate into neurons. In addition, the presence of these cells implies that the brain has some ability to repair itself in response to injuries or diseases affecting the central nervous system.
In the absence of the brain activating this response on its own, scientists are now researching how neural stem cells can help potentially repair a TBI through cell transplantation.
In one study, neural stem cells (NSCs) were transplanted into a damaged area of the subject’s brain and differentiated into region-specific functional cells.
While few studies using humans have reached their final stages, early reports reveal that extracted NSCs may survive for weeks upon injection into an injured portion of the central nervous system. This promising news ensures that stem cells have the time to restore damaged cells and rebuild function after an injury.
While the need for further research and results is clear, early findings offer hope that stem cells may become a widely available option to treat brain injuries. If you would like to learn more about the treatment options available at Stemedix, contact us today! We provide stem cells that help brain injury.