Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading contributor to preventable disease and death in the United States, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Smoking cigarettes also increases the risk of tuberculosis, certain eye diseases, and problems of the immune system, including rheumatoid arthritis.
An abundance of clinical research has clearly shown the detrimental effects cigarette smoke has on nearly every area of the body. However, while assumed to be equally dangerous in its effect on stem cells, there is surprisingly little research exploring the negative implications of cigarette smoking on stem cells.
In this review, Nguyen et al. share findings of recent studies on the effects of cigarette smoking and nicotine on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), with a specific focus on dental stem cells.
With their ability to self-renew, develop into specialized cell types, and migrate to potential sites of injury, stem cells have demonstrated the potential to build every tissue in the body and have also demonstrated great potential for tissue regeneration and associated therapeutic uses.
As the potential benefits and weaknesses of stem cells continue to be discovered, researchers have found that cigarette smoking negatively impacts the abilities of stem cells while also limiting stem cell viability for transplantation and regeneration.
While there has been a recent decline in the percentage of U.S. adults who smoke, over 34 million U.S. adults continue to be regular cigarette smokers. Interestingly, research has demonstrated the concentration of nicotine to be significantly higher in saliva than in blood plasma following nicotine administration via cigarette, e-cigarette, and nicotine patch – in some cases measuring up to eight times higher concentrations. Considering this research and considering the established detrimental effects of e-cigarette vapor – and presumably nicotine – on teeth and dental implants, the authors of this review hypothesized that there would be a similar effect when dental stem cells are exposed to cigarette smoke.
Nguyen et al. reviewed research that determined cigarette smoke produced a negative impact on the proliferation and differentiation of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). Specifically, this research demonstrated a significantly higher depression of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and osteocalcin (OC) genes in smokers when compared to nonsmokers. Additional studies found that smokers demonstrated reduced calcium deposition levels and production of ALP when compared to nonsmokers.
Cigarette smoke and nicotine were also found to negatively affect the migration capability of dental stem cells, slowing the migration rate by up to 12% in smokers while also producing a smaller reduction of scratch wound areas when compared to nonsmokers.
While there are not many studies directly comparing the effects of cigarette smoke and nicotine on MSCs and dental stem cells, the authors conclude that dental stem cells exhibit similar characteristics to bone marrow MSCs and that both of these types of stem cells demonstrate similar negative responses upon their exposure to nicotine.
While the authors call for further research to better understand the specific effects of cigarette smoke on dental stem cells, the authors conclude that the findings demonstrating similar responses to cigarette smoke and nicotine between dental stem cells and MSCs can be used to inform future dental stem cell studies. These findings will help dentists better identify which patients might be at an increased risk of poor healing in the oral cavity and if smoking cessation should be considered before undergoing any invasive or traumatic dental procedure, such as tooth extraction.
A very common question we get is ” How long does Stem Cell Therapy last for Knees? ” for those seeking this alternative treatment for the management of their knee pain. But first, we will discuss what can be behind the knee pain as a cause, who to seek a medical diagnosis, and what options a patient has.
What Can Cause Knee Pain?
Knee pain can have various causes, leading to discomfort and limitations in daily activities. One common cause is injuries, which can occur from sudden trauma or repetitive strain. Sprains, strains, ligament tears (like the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL tears), meniscus tears, fractures, or dislocations can result in knee pain.
Degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis often affect the knee joint. Over time, the protective cartilage on the ends of the bones wears down, causing pain, stiffness, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, can also lead to knee pain due to joint inflammation.
Tendinitis, characterized by inflammation or irritation of the tendons around the knee, is typically caused by overuse or repetitive stress. Bursitis, another inflammatory condition, occurs when the small fluid-filled sacs (bursae) between bones, tendons, and muscles become inflamed.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome refers to pain around or behind the kneecap and is often caused by overuse, muscle imbalances, or improper tracking of the kneecap. IT band syndrome, on the other hand, arises from irritation or inflammation of the IT band along the outer thigh and can cause outer knee pain.
Conditions such as gout, marked by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, can lead to sudden and severe knee pain, redness, and swelling. Infections, though rare, can also cause knee pain, with symptoms including warmth, redness, and swelling.
Additional factors contributing to knee pain include ligamentous or muscular strains, bone tumors, obesity, poor biomechanics, or referred pain from other parts of the body.
If you are experiencing persistent or worsening knee pain, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis so to better help the treatment planning.
Who Do I See if I Have Knee Pain?
If you have knee pain, there are several healthcare professionals you can consult with for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. The appropriate healthcare provider may depend on your specific situation and the severity of your knee pain. Here are some specialists who commonly deal with knee-related issues:
Primary care physician (PCP): Your first step is often to see your primary care physician. They can assess your knee pain, perform a physical examination, and provide initial treatment or refer you to a specialist if needed.
Orthopedic specialist: Orthopedic doctors specialize in the musculoskeletal system and commonly treat knee pain and related conditions. They can diagnose the underlying cause of your knee pain, recommend imaging tests, if necessary (such as X-rays or MRI), and provide both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options.
Rheumatologist: If your knee pain is suspected to be related to inflammatory or autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, a rheumatologist can provide expertise in diagnosing and managing such conditions.
Sports medicine specialist: These specialists focus on injuries and conditions related to sports and physical activity. If your knee pain is sports-related or if you have an active lifestyle, a sports medicine specialist can help with diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Physical therapist: Physical therapists can be involved in the treatment of knee pain, especially for rehabilitation and strengthening exercises. They can provide exercises, stretches, and techniques to improve knee function and reduce pain.
Pain management specialist: If your knee pain is chronic and not easily managed with conventional treatments, a pain management specialist can provide additional options such as medications, injections, or other interventional procedures to alleviate pain.
Are There Alternative Medicine Treatments for Helping with Knee Pain?
Yes, there are alternative medicine treatments that some individuals may consider for helping with knee pain. These alternative approaches focus on holistic and natural methods to address pain and promote overall well-being. While they may not be suitable or effective for everyone, some people find them helpful as complementary or adjunct therapies. Here are a few alternative medicine treatments that are sometimes used for knee pain:
Acupuncture: This ancient Chinese practice involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body. Acupuncture is believed to stimulate energy flow and promote pain relief and healing. Some people report reduced knee pain and improved function with acupuncture.
Herbal remedies: Certain herbs and botanicals are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used topically or taken orally to alleviate knee pain. Examples include turmeric, ginger, Boswellia, and willow bark. However, it’s essential to consult with a qualified herbalist or healthcare provider before using any herbal remedies, as they can interact with medications and have potential side effects.
Topical creams and ointments: Various topical preparations containing natural ingredients like arnica, menthol, capsaicin, or essential oils are available and can be applied to the knee to provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.
Mind-body techniques: Practices such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and tai chi can help manage knee pain by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, improving flexibility, and enhancing body awareness. These techniques may also improve overall physical and mental well-being.
Physical therapies: Alternative physical therapies like chiropractic care, osteopathy, or naturopathy may incorporate manual techniques, stretching, manipulation, or mobilization to address knee pain. These approaches often aim to enhance joint mobility, improve alignment, and reduce pain.
Regenerative Medicine: Also known as stem cell therapy, this regenerative medicine utilizes mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for joint pain by promoting healing, repair, and regeneration of damaged joint tissues.
What is MSC Therapy for Knee Pain?
MSC (mesenchymal stem cell) therapy is a form of regenerative medicine that has gained attention as a potential treatment for knee pain and knee-related conditions. MSCs are multipotent cells that have the ability to differentiate into various cell types, including bone, cartilage, and fat cells. They also possess anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Most people ask the question of ” How long does Stem Cell Therapy for knees last? ” With MSC Therapy for Knee Pain in mind.
The goal of MSC therapy is to promote tissue regeneration, reduce inflammation, and potentially slow down the progression of conditions such as osteoarthritis. By injecting MSCs into the knee joint, it is believed that the cells can stimulate the repair of damaged tissues, enhance cartilage regeneration, and modulate the immune response, thereby reducing pain and improving function.If you are considering MSC therapy for knee pain, it is essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional who specializes in regenerative medicine. They can assess your specific situation, discuss the potential benefits and risks, and provide guidance on whether MSC therapy is appropriate for you as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Looking to inquire further about how long does stem cell therapy last for knees, contact us at Stemedix today.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and is estimated to affect over 500 million people worldwide. A result of the progressive deterioration of the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones, OA most commonly affects the hands, knees, hips, and spine and is characterized by pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility in and around the affected areas.
Without a known way to treat and/or prevent OA from occurring, current conventional treatment of the condition typically involves a combination of prescription and OTC drugs, physical therapy, and lifestyle adjustments in an effort to treat and slow the progression of the symptoms associated with OA.
As the beneficial applications of stem cells continue to emerge, and considering their ability to replace and repair cells and tissues throughout the body, researchers believe that they can be used to treat joint disorders, including OA. The majority of the current stem cell therapies being investigated for use in treating OA use mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), primarily due to their multilineage differentiation towards cell types in the joints and for their immunoregulatory functions.
In this review, Kong et al. provide detailed information on OA and MSCs, share updated information on pre-clinical and clinical trials and related applications of MSCs, and discuss additional efforts on cell-based therapy for treating OA and other joint and bone diseases.
Several preclinical models have investigated MSCs in treating OA and have demonstrated success in generating cartilage from MSCs. In addition, several animal models have demonstrated the beneficial effect of MSCs on cartilage, including protecting existing cartilage, repairing defects of joint cartilage, regenerating and enhancing cartilage, and even preventing OA.
Additionally, there have been several animal models evaluating the effects of intra-articular injection of MSCs for treating OA with researchers noting marked regeneration of tissue and decreased degeneration of articular cartilage.
Clinical trials using MSCs to treat human joint cartilage defects have found that MSCs could be used to repair cartilage defects, improve joint function, reduce pain, and have demonstrated the potential to use MSC therapy for cartilage repair and regeneration as a way to reduce signs and symptom commonly associated with OA.
Although these studies have demonstrated the tremendous potential associated with the use of MSCs for treating OA, they have also highlighted some potential concerns associated with MSC-based therapy. These concerns include determining the specific number and type of MSCs best suited for treating OA, a better understanding of the timing and delivery strategies for the administration of MSCs, and identifying the stages of disease best suited for MSC therapy.
Further concerns highlighted by the authors include the potential of genetic influences when using autologous MSC cells for treatment, the potential for the overall quality of MSC cells used in older patients to be too low, and the overall safety of stem cell therapy as a therapeutic treatment option for OA.
Despite the concerns identified above, Kong et al. conclude that the advancement of regenerative medicine and innovative stem cell technology offers a unique and exciting opportunity to treat OA.
With nearly 15 million people affected worldwide each year, stroke continues to be the most prevalent cerebrovascular disease. Responsible for over 5 million deaths and another 5 million individuals suffering long-term disabilities, stroke also is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.
Although there have been significant advances in both pharmacological and surgical therapies designed to treat the effects of stroke, effective therapy remains limited and primarily focused on managing the symptoms associated with a stroke rather than treating the causing factors or preventing the stroke at the onset.
Recently regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, and specifically mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapy has been identified as a potentially effective strategy for a wide range of diseases and health conditions, including stroke.
In this review, Li et al. examine current preclinical and clinical data from trials using MSCs in the treatment of stroke, the mechanisms underlying MSC-based therapy for stroke, and the challenges associated with the timing and delivery of MSCs.
Initial preclinical studies of the application of MSCs in the treatment of stroke demonstrated that transplantation of MSCs following ischemic stroke promoted improvement of cerebral function protected the ischemic neurons, and repaired brain damage. However, these studies were conducted in young and healthy subjects and failed to factor in the presence of comorbidities, such as diabetes and hypertension, more commonly observed in ischemic stroke patients.
Considering that 75% of strokes occur in the elderly and/or those with the previously mentioned comorbidities, the authors of this review focused their review on studies that incorporated these two factors into their trials.
While these preclinical studies of MSC-based therapy for stroke demonstrated promising results, including improved blood-brain barrier integrity, increased white matter remodeling, and improved neural repair, the authors point out that there has been a limited number of preclinical studies conducted and call for additional preclinical studies specifically utilizing the comorbidity model.
Although treatment of stroke using MSCs has been established to be safe and feasible in phase I and II clinical trials, there have been mixed findings as to the therapy’s efficacy. As a result of these varied findings, the overall efficacy in the treatment of ischemic stroke remains controversial. The authors consider several reasons for the inconsistency of results observed in these trials, including the varied number of patients, doses, and type of cell delivery, the timing of the cell therapy, and the treatment modalities used in these trials; the authors also call attention to the different locations, extent, and severity of lesions used in these trials.
As a result of the inconclusive results surrounding the effectiveness of MSC-based therapy for the treatment of stroke in these clinical trials, the authors call for more optimized and well-designed large-sample multicenter studies to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs more thoroughly in ischemic stroke.
While the underlying mechanisms of MSC-based therapy for stroke have not been fully explained or understood, a review of several studies has demonstrated that MSCs protect against stroke through multiple mechanisms, including direct differentiation, paracrine effects, and mitochondrial transfer.
Before MSCs can be widely applied in clinical practice, Li et al. highlight several challenges that need to first be considered. These challenges include determining the optimal time for MSC administration during the acute stroke stages, further understanding the best treatment, conditions, and strategies to maximize the regenerative potential of MSCs, identifying the simplest and safest route of MSC delivery, and identifying the best source of MSCs for stroke treatment.
The authors conclude this review by recommending future preclinical and clinical studies that consider the adoption of a well-designed randomized controlled study design and method rigor and intervention measures to determine the effect of MSC therapy in the treatment of stroke.
Even with considering the above recommendations, MSCs continue to demonstrate exciting potential as a means to protect neurons and improve outcomes and overall quality of life for stroke patients.
Ischemic kidney diseases are serious health issues that lead to irreversible loss of kidney function and are commonly associated with high rates of mortality and morbidity. Many of the conditions captured under the term ischemic kidney disease occur as a result of decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) caused by vasoconstriction or loss of autoregulation. Ischemic kidney disease, or ischemic renal disease, is a contributing factor anywhere between 6% – 27% of end-stage kidney disease and is most common among patients 50 years old or older.
The progression of these types of kidney diseases is often multifaceted and involves complex hormonal-immunological cellular interactions. Since ischemic kidney disease often involves damage that occurs to many different types of cells, the conditions have often been demonstrated to be resistant to conventional therapy.
Considering mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) provide renal protection, their anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties are of interest in an effort to better understand how they can be therapeutically used to treat and prevent acute kidney ischemia (AKI).
In this review, Zhu et al. examine recent progress in the use of MSC to prevent kidney diseases, with a specific focus on chronic ischemic kidney disease (CIKD).
When used to treat CIKD, MSCs have been found to achieve renal cellular repair in a number of different ways. Initially, and upon infusion, MSCs home to the injury site and release homing receptors, growth factors, and anti-inflammatory cytokines to the injury site. They also release similar microparticles that promote kidney repair through internalization in other cells, allowing for reduced intrarenal inflammation and the promotion of vascular regeneration.
Examining the results of clinical trials exploring the use of MSC to treat CIKD, and considering patients with diabetes mellitus often develop chronic kidney issues, including diabetic nephropathy (DN), the authors believe the beneficial application of the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulating features of MSC could help in the treatment of DN.
While Zhu et al. highlights the potential of MSCs in the treatment of CIKD in this review, they also identify potential limitations, including the potential for MSCs to form teratoma or other tumors (to date, no direct evidence of kidney tumor formation has been reported) and exactly how long the effects of MSC on kidney protection will last. As a way to address both potential limitations, the authors recommend longer follow-up times to ensure all potential detrimental effects of MSC use in humans are known and accounted for.
The review concludes that while further studies are needed to discern the chief elements of their actions and to define the optimal type (tissue source, preconditioning), dose, and delivery route, MSCs demonstrate remarkable potential for future treatment of ischemic kidney disease.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that occurs as a result of the body’s immune system attacking the protective sheath, or myelin, responsible for covering nerve fibers. Characterized by progressive nerve deterioration and damage of the nerve fibers, MS is currently estimated to affect nearly 600,000 adults in the United States.
While a specific cause of MS has not yet been determined, recent findings have suggested interactions between environmental and genetic factors as contributors to the susceptibility to MS.
Current pharmaceutical treatments for MS have demonstrated the ability to slow symptoms associated with MS but have not demonstrated the ability to treat or prevent the disease itself.
Recent studies have identified mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as having anti-inflammatory properties that could potentially be an effective therapy option for preventing or managing overactivity and self-antigen attacks by T cells and macrophages that are commonly associated with MS.
As part of this review, Alanazi et al. examined the most relevant clinical trials that utilized MSCs from a variety of sources as part of their investigation into the effectiveness of these stem cells as a potential therapy for MS.
MSCs are able to be easily isolated from multiple sources of the human body, including bone marrow, adipose tissue, umbilical cord, and the placenta. These stem cells have also demonstrated the ability to be expanded in culture media and to be safely utilized as autologous treatment without the risk of rejection.
Regardless of their source, MSCs, in general, have been demonstrated to be highly proliferative, capable of self-renewal, and have immunomodulatory and neurodegenerative effects. In addition, MSCs demonstrate the ability to differentiate and secrete anti-inflammatory factors that allow them to control the progress of autoimmune diseases, including MS.
After examining numerous clinical trials utilizing MSCs from a range of sources, the authors conclude that MSCs – regardless of their source – will all work on inhibiting CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation, T regulatory cells (Tregs), and macrophage switch into the auto-immune phenotype.
While there are many good sources of MSCs, Alanazi et al. also conclude that previously conducted clinical trials demonstrate umbilical cord MSCs (UCMSCs) to be the best option for the management of Multiple Sclerosis for several reasons. These reasons include faster self-renewal than other MSCs, the ability to differentiate into three germ layers, and the observed ability to accumulate in damaged tissue or inflamed areas.
Additionally, and besides being one of the few MSC sources without ethical concerns, UCMSCs offer benefits from a practical standpoint The separation of MSCs from the umbilical cord is easy and painless, the number of cells collected per unit is high, UCMSC transfusion is not expensive, and UCMSCs have been shown to be very safe to use in this application.
Considering the information presented in this review, Alanazi et al. recommend the clinical use of UCMSCs for regenerative medicine and immunotherapy.
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