Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common and widespread form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 655 million people worldwide. Occurring as a result of cartilage degeneration, OA is a progressive degenerative disorder that most commonly affects the joints of the hands, hips, knees, and spine.
Although OA can affect anyone, it is most commonly observed in older patients. In fact, all individuals over the age of 65 are believed to demonstrate some clinical or radiographic evidence of OA.
While surgical and pharmaceutical treatment options for OA exist as a way to manage the symptoms and progression of the disease, treatment for the restoration of normal cartilage function has yet to be achieved.
Considering the tissue of joint cartilage is composed primarily of chondrocytes found in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs), using these specific stem cells appears to have significant potential for use in the therapeutic regeneration of cartilage.
In this review, Gupta et al. evaluate the advances in using BMSCs and their therapeutic potential for repairing cartilage damage in OA. Evaluating current research, the authors point out that one of the key characteristics of MSCs, including BMSCs, is that they are generally hypoimmunogenic and possess immunosuppressive activity, suggesting that BMSCs could be used as allogeneic applications for cartilage repair.
Preclinical models of OA have also demonstrated that the effects of MSC transplantation have been effective for cartilage repair. Additionally, clinical models have reported on the safety and positive therapeutic effects of MNSC administration in patients with OA.
The authors point out that while the exact mechanism by which BMSCs regenerate articular cartilage in patients with OA is not clear, their ability to induce proliferation and tissue-specific differentiation appears to aid in the repair of damaged cartilage.
The ability of BMSCs to migrate and engraft onto multiple musculoskeletal tissues and differentiate at the site of injury while demonstrating anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties demonstrate their potential as a therapeutic treatment for degenerative diseases like OA.
While the information provided in this review demonstrates the potential of BMSCs to support treatment and recovery from the damage caused because of OA, Gupta et al. call for additional clinical studies to assess the curative properties and long-term outcome of using MCSCs for the treatment of OA before they can be used routinely as a clinical treatment for the condition.
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.
Your bones are essential for providing your body with support and stability, especially as you age. When you get older, you are more susceptible to conditions that can weaken bones and make them more prone to breakage.
Keeping your bones healthy throughout your life will strengthen them in old age and make you less likely to develop conditions like osteoporosis. Take a look at these tips for healthier bones.
Increase Calcium Intake
One of the best ways to strengthen your bones is to increase your calcium intake. Many people are deficient in calcium, and it puts them at a higher risk of osteoporosis and other conditions that weaken bones. You can increase your calcium intake by adding more whole milk, yogurt, and calcium supplements to your diet.
You don’t need to perform strenuous exercises or intense workouts. A daily walk, swimming, or even playing golf are all good ways to remain physically active.
People who lead a sedentary lifestyle tend to have weaker bones than those who get regular exercise. To strengthen your bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, you should strive to stay active throughout your whole life.
Research has suggested that smoking cigarettes can increase your risk of bone breakage or developing osteoporosis. To help yourself maintain strong, healthy bones, it’s better to quit smoking as soon as possible.
Decrease Alcohol Consumption
In addition to tobacco products, alcohol can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. For stronger, healthier bones, you should try to keep your drinking to a minimum.
Keep Hormones in Check
Some instances of weak bones and osteoporosis are linked to hormone imbalances. Getting your hormone levels regularly checked and ruling out thyroid conditions can help you keep strong bones for your entire life.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 25% of all adults in the United States suffer from arthritis. Arthritis can be a debilitating condition that affects many areas of the body. One of the most common locations for arthritis, however, is the hands. If you have hand arthritis, there are some things you can do to find relief.
Many medications have been developed to reduce the symptoms of arthritis and allow you to use your hands with less pain or no pain. The right medications can help reduce swelling as well as joint discomfort.
Some common arthritis medications include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
While medications cannot stop the progression of the disease, they can help manage the symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, uses stem cells to promote your body’s natural healing process. These cells target the affected joints, reducing inflammation, pain, and aching. Stem cell therapy can also increase joint flexibility and help with the regeneration of new cartilage.
Physical exercises for your hands can help you regain some mobility in your joints. You can also turn to hot and cold packs. Cold packs reduce swelling and pain, and hot packs protect against stiffness. You also need to consider regular rest periods since rest can help reduce swelling.
If you smoke, quitting can also help reduce the symptoms of arthritis, as can losing weight if you are overweight or have diabetes.
Arthritis Help Is Available
You do not have to suffer through painful hand arthritis when there are treatments available that do not rely only on surgical procedures. With management strategies like hand exercises, as well as with medication and emerging treatments like stem cell therapy, you can get the relief you need.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and affects an estimated 25% of adults in the United States. Characterized by pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints of the body, OA is most frequently observed in the knees, hands, hips, and spine.
OA is one of the leading causes of disability with an annual cost of medical care and lost earnings exceeding $300 billion. With over 250 million people affected by OA worldwide, the combination of aging, obesity, and increased incidents of oxidative stress is causing the condition to become increasingly prevalent.
To date, treatment and medical interventions – including exercise, physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and prescription and over-the-counter medications – have been successful in managing symptoms, reducing pain, and maintaining joint mobility, but have not been able to promote the regeneration of degenerated tissue.
Stem cells, and specifically mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), have been identified as a potential therapy option for OA. In this review, Zhu et al. summarize the pathogenesis and treatment of OA and review the current status of MSCs as a potential treatment option for the condition.
In reviewing the pathogenesis of OA, the authors highlighted the fact that OA is a dynamic and progressive degenerative disease that is primarily caused by the imbalance between restoration and destruction of the joints; the disease is also significantly influenced by environmental, inflammatory, and metabolic aspects.
The authors highlight that the primary goals of current OA treatment methods are to reduce pain, slow progression, and preserve and improve joint mobility and function.
As researchers continue to search for therapies that encourage the regeneration of damaged articular cartilage and the alleviation of inflammation, they’ve turned their attention to a number of stem cell-based therapies, such as autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI). While ACI has received FDA approval, unexpected dedifferentiation, and joint invasiveness during harvest limit the availability and usefulness of this application.
Fortunately, MSCs have not been found to demonstrate limitations similar to those observed in ACI and are considered novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of OA. Prized primarily for their ability to stimulate cartilage formation and for their vascularization, anti-inflammation, and immunoregulation, MSCs are sourced from different types of stem cells, including bone marrow (BM-MSCs), adipose tissue (AD-MSCs), and umbilical cord (UC-MSCs). Zhu et al. summarize the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each of these MSC sources in this review.
The authors point out that several clinical trials have proven both the safety and potential efficacy of BM-MSCs, AD-MSCs, and UC-MSCs in the treatment of OA. However, the authors also point out that several of these trials were conducted with limited samples, without rigorous controls, and with relatively short-term follow-up. Considering this, Zhu et al. call for additional clinical trials using larger samples, more rigorous controls, and additional long-term follow-up. In addition, the authors also call for additional considerations to further enhance the efficacy in clinical trials, including cell density, time and location for MSC transplantation, and pretreatment of MSCs by inflammatory cytokines.
The authors conclude that while stem cell-based therapy, and specifically MSCs, demonstrate great potential for the regeneration of new cartilage and strong immunoregulatory capacity, the identified limitations and risks of MSC-based therapy should be realized and treated carefully.
Despite the identified risks and limitations, MSC-based therapy for the treatment of OA might achieve better efficacy in regenerative medicine, especially when administered in combination with other treatment options.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting 32.5 million adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This condition appears most often in the hands, knees, and hips. It causes the cartilage inside a bone to start to break down, changing the bone itself. There are many treatment options for osteoarthritis, but one of the most promising for managing symptoms and possibly even reducing the condition’s effects is regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy.
What Is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is an incurable and chronic degenerative disease of the joints. With time, the cartilage that works to cushion the ends of the bones begins to wear down. Ligaments and tendons break down, as well, and inflammation increases.
Some of the most common symptoms of osteoarthritis include the following:
People who have joint or stress injuries, who have a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis, or who are obese are at a higher risk of developing this condition. It is also more common in women than in men.
There are two types of osteoarthritis. The first type is primary osteoarthritis, which affects the fingers, hips, knees, spine, and big toes.
Secondary osteoarthritis appears with a pre-existing joint abnormality from trauma or injury. It can also stem from inflammatory arthritis, infectious arthritis, metabolic disorders, or genetic joint disorders.
Regenerative Medicine for Osteoarthritis
Stem cells are cells that are not mature. They can divide and change into different cells with specialized functions. Using adult mesenchymal stem cells instead of embryonic cells is the most common option for osteoarthritis. These stem cells are present in bone marrow, umbilical cord, and fat tissues.
By using stem cells, it is possible to promote the regeneration of cartilage. This regeneration can help reduce pain while also improving joint function.
Stem cells have the capability of replacing damaged cells anywhere in the body. Depending on the tissue that surrounds them, stem cells can become bone, cartilage, tendon, muscles, or fat.
These cells also release anti-inflammatory factors to combat pain and support healing. When injected into the joints, they can potentially improve flexibility and movement.
Choose Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis Relief
Although stem cell therapy is a new and alternative option for the treatment of conditions like osteoarthritis, it shows promising results. Stem cell therapy has the ability to reduce symptoms of this degenerative disease, helping you regain movement in the affected joints while reducing pain. If you would like to learn more about how stem cell therapy can help with the treatment of osteoarthritis, contact Stemedix today!
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