Could Fat Be the Secret to Regenerative Medicine Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

Could Fat Be the Secret to Regenerative Medicine Treatments for Parkinson’s Disease?

For several decades, there has been extensive research into how regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, can help patients suffering from central nervous system disorders. One of the most heavily researched conditions has been Parkinson’s disease. Patients who struggle with Parkinson’s understand how severe their symptoms can be and how rapidly the disease can progress. This makes finding an effective treatment essential for maintaining the quality of life. Here we will discuss the possible treatments for Parkinson’s Disease.

How Stem Cells Can Make a Difference With Parkinson’s Disease

Recent studies have shown that body fat could be a promising key to helpful stem cell treatment in patients with Parkinson’s disease. 

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital found that fatty tissue can produce stem cells for treating various central nervous system disorders, providing a homegrown source of regenerative medicine.

Neural stem cells were identified in these studies when scientists assessed body fat in mice. When examining the subcutaneous adipose tissue, researchers found nerve fibers that contained Schwann cells. Schwann cells are a type of cell used in the maintenance and regeneration of neurons in the peripheral nervous system. 

In vitro analysis of the Schwann cells revealed that they can provide stem cell-like qualities. These stem cell qualities may have regenerative properties that support motor and sensory actions in patients with conditions like Parkinson’s disease.

One of the benefits of sourcing cells from body fat is that it is derived from the patient’s own tissue. Using homegrown stem cells has been shown to be most effective when treating numerous conditions. 

Scientists found that the Schwann cells discovered in the study improved digestive function in mice with disorders like gastroparesis and colonic aganglionosis. This occurred when injected into the gastrointestinal tract of the mice. 

When applied to the central nervous system, these cells could potentially improve nervous system function in patients with certain neurological disorders.

A researcher in this study explained:

“Because adipose stem cells are widely considered to be safe therapeutic agents for humans … the derivation of SAT-[neural stem cells] offers unprecedented potential for therapeutic application in neurological diseases.” 

This means that the cells identified in the study could one day provide a safe, natural treatment for patients struggling with the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. 

A Promising Option For Parkinson’s

It is worth noting that there’s still much research to do when it comes to stem cells and how they might treat various disorders. 

The relationship between Parkinson’s disease and stem cell therapy is the subject of several ongoing studies. The hope is that stem cell treatments are soon widely accepted as an alternative way to potentially relieve the effects of degenerative neurological conditions. If you would like to learn more about the available treatments for Parkinson’s Disease contact us today at Stemedix!

Are My Tissues Healing Properly After My Injury?

Are My Tissues Healing Properly After My Injury?

When you first suffer from an injury, you focus on assessing damage and dealing with pain. As you start to recover, you may focus on when you can resume your everyday life. Fully recovering from an injury can take substantial time. That timeline lengthens if your tissues aren’t healing properly. A very common question we get is ” Are my tissues healing properly after my injury? “. Here we will discuss injury recovery and what you should expect.

What Should I Expect from Recovery?

Injury recovery has four main stages. These stages often overlap, so multiple parts of the recovery process occur at once. 

Stage 1: Bleeding

Internal soft tissues bleed from an injury just like a cut to the skin causes bleeding. Since muscles receive a steady blood supply, muscle injuries tend to bleed more, causing larger, deeper bruising. Other tissues, like ligaments, don’t receive as much blood, so they tend to bleed and bruise less.

At the bleeding stage, a patient’s job is to rest and allow the bleeding to stop. Rest is particularly critical in the first hours after an injury.

Stage 2: Swelling

The area will begin to swell within one to two hours after an injury. Swelling and inflammation are part of the body’s healing response and serve to protect the injured area. While most swelling peaks within three days of an injury, it can persist for a few weeks as you recover.

Stage 3: Scar Tissue

The body starts developing scar tissue within one to two days of experiencing an injury, and this process continues for up to four to six months. Therefore, it’s essential to move and gradually incorporate pain-free, low-impact exercise at this time so your new scar tissue can build with strength and flexibility.

Stage 4: Remodeling or Maturation 

The remodeling phase is the longest and final stage of wound recovery, beginning around three weeks after the injury and continuing for up to two years. At this time, collagen synthesis strengthens the surrounding tissue, and the fibers reorganize to reform the injured area. 

An injury tends to result in tissues about 80% as strong as uninjured tissue

How Long Should My Recovery Take?

The length of time an injury takes to heal depends on the injury’s severity, the patient’s age, the type of injury, and several other factors. The time frame for a specific injury to heal is broken out here:

  • Broken Bones: Six weeks to three months
  • Cartilage: Twelve weeks or longer
  • Muscle Injury or Strains: A few weeks to six months
  • Tendons: Four to six weeks
  • Ligaments: Three weeks to eight months

Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, can help facilitate the healing process for specific injuries. Other options, for example, therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) and Peptides can also be used if you’re concerned about the length of time an injury takes to heal. If you are asking yourself ” Are my tissues healing properly after my injury” or you would like to learn more about the treatment options we have here at Stemedix, contact us today!

Stem Cell Knee Injections: What to Expect

Stem Cell Knee Injections: What to Expect

Stem cells are gaining more acceptance as a form of regenerative medicine, thanks to the promising results seen in laboratory settings. That’s why an increasing number of people are turning to regenerative medicine and stem cells as a way to manage their knee pain.  Keep reading to learn what stem cell knee injections are and how they can help alleviate joint pain. 

What Are Stem Cells and Stem Cell Knee Injections?

Your body is made up of many different types of specialized cells that perform very specific tasks. These cell types include skin cells, neurons, and smooth muscle cells. 

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells, meaning they don’t have a specific purpose or function. Instead, they have the ability to become several different types of cells depending on their surroundings. 

Stem cell injections use a small number of stem cells harvested from your own body. They deliver these cells to injured, inflamed, or degenerating areas, such as the knees. When administered into injured areas, stem cells are sort of like a blank canvas for your body to use however it needs. 

Stem cell knee therapy is typically used due to their potential to help replace damaged tissues that was caused by injury or normal wear and tear.

Who Are They Right for?

Stem cells are ideal for people living with chronic knee pain due to osteoarthritis or injury. Former athletes with lingering knee problems could benefit from these injections. 

What to Expect at Your Appointment? 

When you go for a stem cell injection appointment, the injection itself doesn’t take more than a few minutes. But the stem cells have to be harvested and the injection prepared before it can be administered. More common options are stem cells derived from adipose (fat) tissue or bone marrow aspirate.

The entire process takes two to three hours, depending on the type of procedure, with minimal recovery time. Once you receive the therapy, you may leave with following post-treatment protocols from your physician.

When Can You Expect to See Results From Stem Cell Knee Injections?

Results are not immediate, but you may see a gradual improvement in the weeks after your treatment. It could take initially six to eight weeks before you know whether the injected stem cells have improved your symptoms. A single injection can help manage pain for six months to more than a year, but subsequent injections may be recommended by your provider. 

Depending on several personal factors, including the condition you’re managing, you may benefit from an injection every six months, once a year, or every two years. If you would like to learn more about stem cell knee injections, contact us today!

Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Conditions

Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Conditions

Knee pain is so common among adults that few active patients are surprised when knee pain occurs. However, while daily activities like walking, bending, standing, and lifting may cause knee pain, those who engage in exercises that involve jumping and pivoting are even more likely to suffer from knee conditions.  In the past, the solution for all knee conditions was knee replacement surgery. Now, patients have new options with regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy for knee conditions.

What Is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells live in most of the body’s tissues. Under the right conditions, these cells divide to form more stem cells or specialized cells throughout the body, such as blood cells or nerves. Stem cells are the only cells that can become a new cell type.

In stem cell therapy, researchers extract and concentrate stem cells, then implant them back into an area of concern in the body. Those cells then have the potential to heal or replace damaged tissue.

Regenerative Medicine For Knee Conditions

Many knee conditions result from soft tissue damage. For example, when a patient loses cartilage from osteoarthritis, bones no longer glide smoothly, resulting in friction, pain, and inflammation.

Stem cell therapy uses the body’s innate healing process to repair soft tissues and slow their deterioration. As a result, knee conditions caused by ligament injuries, tendonitis, or osteoarthritis can all potentially benefit from stem cell therapy. The goals of stem cell therapy in treating knee conditions include:

  • Repairing damaged tissues
  • Slowing the degeneration of cartilage
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Reducing pain
  • Delaying or preventing surgery

Many studies conclude that stem cells improves the symptoms of conditions like arthritis in the knee. However, further research is underway to determine treatment frequency, dosage, and longevity.

Benefits of Choosing Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Conditions

Patients looking to avoid knee replacement surgery often turn to it after exhausting their non-surgical treatment options. Benefits of choosing stem cell therapy include:

  • Less pain from osteoarthritis or past injuries
  • Reduced dependency on pain medications
  • Reduced joint stiffness
  • Better mobility
  • Faster recovery

Additionally, many patients choose stem cell therapy for their knee conditions to try to avoid the extensive rehabilitation needs required after joint replacement surgery. 

Stem cells may offer a safe and effective alternative to previous treatments for common knee conditions. Both clinical trials and anecdotal evidence provide positive outcomes for patients seeking a knee surgery alternative. If you are interested in learning more about Stem Cell Therapy, contact a care coordinator at Stemedix today!

Regenerative Medicine or Surgery?

Regenerative Medicine or Surgery?

When you live with chronic pain, almost any treatment option that offers relief can be tempting. Undergoing surgery for joint pain is a serious decision. Surgery comes with many risks, including potentially long and painful recovery times, and there is no guarantee that surgical treatments will resolve your pain. Before deciding whether surgery is the right step for you, take a moment to consider the following reasons why regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, might be an effective option.

Regenerative Medicine Is Minimally Invasive

The body’s natural response to surgical intervention is to create inflammation. Post-surgical swelling can be serious enough to prevent or limit movement and slow recovery time. Stem cell therapy is minimally invasive — involving only administrations at the injured site. A regenerative medicine provider first prepares the treatment area by applying a local anesthetic, which can minimize discomfort.

Instead of causing inflammation, stem cells have the ability to reduce swelling and support the body’s natural healing response. There is typically little or no downtime with stem cell therapy. Most patients can return to normal daily activity, following some post-procedure protocols, as soon as they leave the clinic.

Stem Cell Therapy Has Fewer Risks and Complications

No medical procedure is 100% risk-free. However, few complications are associated with stem cell therapy, especially when compared to surgery. The risks of even the most common surgical procedures include infection, damage to nerves or blood vessels, deep vein thrombosis, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.

Stem cell therapy does pose a few risks, most of which are mild and rare. Headache, nausea, swelling, or itching at the injection site are possible. Infection due to stem cell therapy is possible but extremely rare.

Regenerative Medicine Is More Cost-Effective

Stem cell therapy is not inexpensive, and most costs may have to be paid out of pocket since insurance, today, is still not covering treatments. Even with these considerations, the long recuperation and additional costs of surgery can add up. The costs associated with a possible long recuperation time, child care, and potentially lost wages may outweigh the costs of stem cell therapy considerably.

What Is Best for You?

Ultimately, each patient needs to do their individual research and weigh the pros and cons of any medical options before making an informed decision. Stem cell therapy is utilized to manage many conditions, including neurodegenerative and autoimmune conditions, and it serves as a potentially helpful approach in pain management contexts. Before deciding on a risky surgery, consult with a regenerative medicine specialist at Stemedix to learn more about your available options. If surgery is ultimately the best route for your recovery and wellness, stem cell therapy can still be an excellent post-surgery recovery tool.

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