Stemedix https://stemedix.com Adult Stem Cell Therapy Treatment in Florida USA Tue, 26 Nov 2019 19:58:01 -0500 en-US hourly 1 Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease with Stem Cells https://stemedix.com/blog/treating-inflammatory-bowel-disease-with-stem-cells/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 14:00:43 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9567 Over the past few years, data have accumulated showing the promise for cell-based therapies to help with the treatment of perianal Crohn’s disease. Specifically, stem cells appear to offer the opportunity to overcome several weaknesses associated with conventional therapies that have targeted perianal Crohn’s disease. Based on these positive results, scientists and healthcare providers have...

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Over the past few years, data have accumulated showing the promise for cell-based therapies to help with the treatment of perianal Crohn’s disease. Specifically, stem cells appear to offer the opportunity to overcome several weaknesses associated with conventional therapies that have targeted perianal Crohn’s disease.

Based on these positive results, scientists and healthcare providers have become more adamant about understanding the broader role stem cells could play in the treatment of all inflammatory bowel disease. A new review published in Current Gastroenterology Reports discusses this specific issue and offers insights into the direction of stem cell research as it relates to inflammatory bowel disease.

The authors of this review discuss data from over a dozen clinical trials that have already been conducted on the impact of stem cell therapies in Crohn’s disease. Thus far, much of the success of regenerative medicine for the treatment of Crohn’s disease has been for the specific treatment of perianal Crohn’s disease, which occurs when the digestive and gastrointestinal inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease extends to the anal area.

Given the frequency with which the lining of the intestine is inflamed in inflammatory bowel disease, including both perianal Crohn’s disease and non-perianal Crohn’s disease, research efforts are focusing more and more on how stem cells may be able to combat this type of luminal disease. The authors put forth suggestions for the types of information that researchers should aim to obtain if we are to adequately treat intraluminal disease with regenerative medicine.

The potential of stem cells to address inflammatory bowel disease that has been demonstrated so far provides hope that this type of strategy will help not only patients with perianal Crohn’s disease but those with other forms of inflammatory bowel disease as well. More research should help to determine if and how these therapies can be deployed to help this patient population.

 

 

Reference: Lightner, A.L. (2019). Stem cell therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. Current Gastroenterology Reports, 21(4), 16.

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How Bone Marrow Stem Cells Could Help ALS Patients https://stemedix.com/blog/how-bone-marrow-stem-cells-could-help-als-patients/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:00:38 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9570 Researchers have recently established that a hallmark of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is endothelial cell degeneration that leads to vascular pathology. When this vascular pathology occurs, damage develops to the barrier between the blood and the central nervous system. Given this new understanding of the pathophysiology of ALS, researchers have begun looking at the potential...

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Researchers have recently established that a hallmark of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is endothelial cell degeneration that leads to vascular pathology. When this vascular pathology occurs, damage develops to the barrier between the blood and the central nervous system. Given this new understanding of the pathophysiology of ALS, researchers have begun looking at the potential of repairing this barrier as a strategy for treating the disease.

A recent study, published in Scientific Reports, addressed this issue by testing how human bone marrow cells may impact blood-spinal cord barrier repair by transplanting these cells in an ALS model. The researchers hypothesized that the cells should help to repair the barrier, reversing the damage accompanying ALS. They were also interested in whether this type of repair may improve not only the integrity of the barrier between the blood and central nervous system but also improve symptoms of ALS.

What the researchers found was that the human bone marrow cells differentiated into the type of endothelial cells that were needed for repair and successfully engrafted into the capillaries of the spinal cord in their model. Several specific observations led the scientists to conclude that these stem cells helped to effectively restore the barrier between the blood and the spinal cord.

The stem cells improved the integrity and survival of nervous system cells, including astrocytes and spinal cord motor neurons, preventing problematic changes in these cells that are associated with the breakdown of the blood-central nervous system barrier. Critically, the implantation of the stem cells also led to improvements in behaviors associated with ALS.

While there is still a lot of research to be done to establish whether bone marrow stem cells can help repair the blood-spinal cord barrier in patients with ALS, this study provides promising data. Given that there is no cure for ALS and limited treatment options, there is likely to be an emphasis on cell-based therapies for the disease. As more data become available, we will get a clearer picture as to if and how stem cells can help ALS patients.

 

 

Reference: Garbuzova-Davis,S. (2017). Endothelial and astrocytic support by human bone marrow stem cell grafts into symptomatic ALS mice towards blood-spinal cord barrier repair. Scientific Reports, 7(884).

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Promising Data for the Use of Stem Cells to Treat Perianal Crohn’s Disease is Accumulating https://stemedix.com/blog/promising-data-for-the-use-of-stem-cells-to-treat-perianal-crohns-disease-is-accumulating/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 14:00:26 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9563 Crohn’s disease, a form of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, affects an estimated 700,000 people in the United States, affecting men and women equally. While the disease is characterized by abnormal inflammation in the gastrointestinal and digestive tracts, some people with the illness develop perianal Crohn’s disease. In this case, the inflammation extends to areas around...

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Crohn’s disease, a form of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, affects an estimated 700,000 people in the United States, affecting men and women equally. While the disease is characterized by abnormal inflammation in the gastrointestinal and digestive tracts, some people with the illness develop perianal Crohn’s disease. In this case, the inflammation extends to areas around the anus. The precise proportion of Crohn’s disease patients who develop perianal Crohn’s disease is debated, but the need for better treatments for the condition is not.

Unfortunately, though there are several drug and surgical interventions that have been developed to treat perianal Crohn’s disease, each of the available treatment options suffers critical limitations, including risks for adverse side effects.  There is no available therapeutic approach that successfully achieves long-term remission.

Based on the need for – and lack of – more efficacious interventions for perianal Crohn’s disease and the ability of cell-based therapies to address similar types of disease, researchers have positioned that stem cell therapy may be a promising avenue for the relevant patient population. A recent review published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis covers the research that has been conducted to address this possibility and the data that suggest that mesenchymal stem cells could provide a safe and effective way to treat perianal Crohn’s disease without the unwanted side effects associated with conventional treatment options.

In this review, the authors cover clinical trials on cell-based therapies for perianal Crohn’s disease, including phase 1, phase 2, and phase 3 randomized controlled trials. The authors consider the differences in outcomes between conventional treatments and cell-based therapies and offer suggestions for the direction of research into the use of stem cells for the treatment of perianal Crohn’s disease.

 

 

Reference: Lightner, A.L. & Faubion, W.A. (2017). Mesenchymal stem cell injections for the treatment of perianal Crohn’s disease: What we have accomplished and what we still need to. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, 11(10), 1267-1276.

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How Does High-Intensity Step Training Help Stroke Survivors? https://stemedix.com/blog/how-does-high-intensity-step-training-help-stroke-survivors/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 14:00:57 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9590 A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain becomes blocked. When the brain cells cannot get sufficient oxygen, they may die off, resulting in lasting symptoms such as difficulty walking and speaking. Although some challenges may be permanent, there are a number of rehabilitative therapies that can help stroke survivors recover as much...

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A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain becomes blocked. When the brain cells cannot get sufficient oxygen, they may die off, resulting in lasting symptoms such as difficulty walking and speaking. Although some challenges may be permanent, there are a number of rehabilitative therapies that can help stroke survivors recover as much function as possible.

One form of rehabilitation which has recently emerged as an effective therapy for boosting walking skills is high-step training. While rehabilitative measures typically focus on low-intensity walking to help stroke survivors restore balance and walking skills, experts believed this approach isn’t challenging enough to help patients navigate real-world scenarios. To test their theory, a research team at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis compared the patient outcomes in low-impact training programs against those from a higher-intensity stepping program.

Participants were involved in one of three programs: high-intensity steps with variable tasks, such as steps on uneven surfaces, inclines, or over obstacles while moving forward; high-intensity steps only moving forward; or low-intensity steps with variable tasks. Stroke survivors in both high-intensity groups were able to walk faster and farther than those in the low-intensity group.

In the high-intensity groups, the majority of participants (57% to 80%) made noteworthy clinical gains, but less than a third of participants made the same improvements in the low-intensity group. Participants in the high-intensity group also reported improved balance and confidence.

Although rehabilitative walking programs have historically taken a more gradual approach, these findings suggest that pushing patients to walk further, faster, and across a variety of conditions could challenge the nervous system more effectively. In doing so, stroke survivors may improve mobility and witness noticeable improvements in a shorter amount of time.

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How Stem Cells May Help Those with Chronic Pain https://stemedix.com/blog/how-stem-cells-may-help-those-with-chronic-pain/ Thu, 21 Nov 2019 14:00:04 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9560 A review in the Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy has summarized an array of studies that demonstrate that a specific type of stem cell – the mesenchymal stem cell – may be beneficial as a therapeutic approach to chronic pain. The authors point to the huge burden of chronic pain. It is estimated...

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A review in the Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy has summarized an array of studies that demonstrate that a specific type of stem cell – the mesenchymal stem cell – may be beneficial as a therapeutic approach to chronic pain. The authors point to the huge burden of chronic pain. It is estimated that more than 115 people suffer from the condition, which is more than those who suffer from diabetes, stroke, cancer, and coronary heart disease combined.

Chronic pain is also associated with significant losses in productivity. Given how extreme the burden of chronic pain has become, the National Institute of Medicine has suggested that finding effective ways to alleviate chronic pain should become a priority for the nation.

Regenerative medicine has offered an effective way to treat a variety of injuries and diseases, including some that are related to chronic pain. As the term “regenerative medicine” implies, much of the research into the clinical effects of stem cells have shown that they lead to beneficial outcomes by regenerating damaged tissue by replacing that tissue with new cells.

This new review looks at the potential of mesenchymal stem cells to specifically improve chronic pain through the ability of the cells to suppress inflammation. Given that inflammation is a common characteristic of conditions associated with chronic pain, a strategy that addresses this phenomenon could represent an effective way to help those with chronic pain that comes from things like degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis.

The current approaches to chronic pain are limited in their ability to reduce or control pain, so there is a great need to develop more effective therapies. Research thus far into the potential impact of mesenchymal stem cells on chronic pain has provided promising results regarding effectiveness and safety. Specifically, these stem cells have not been associated with adverse side effects, they lead to the development and growth of healthy tissue, and they appear to provide pain relief. Future research will help to clarify the mechanisms by which mesenchymal stem cells may confer their benefits to those with chronic pain and provide new insights into how can best use these cells to help chronic pain sufferers.

 

 

Reference: Waterman, R.S. & Betancourt, A.M. (2011). Treating chronic pain with mesenchymal stem cells: A therapeutic approach worthy of continued investigation. Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy, S2, 1-5.

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The Dangers of Sitting & How to Avoid Them https://stemedix.com/blog/the-dangers-of-sitting-how-to-avoid-them/ Tue, 19 Nov 2019 14:00:33 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9586 Sitting has recently been dubbed “the new smoking,” as medical experts have linked it to heart disease, diabetes, and even certain forms of cancer. Unfortunately, many of us spend hours sitting at desks during the workday, then log more time at home in front of our phones, tablets, or the TV. So, just how bad...

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Sitting has recently been dubbed “the new smoking,” as medical experts have linked it to heart disease, diabetes, and even certain forms of cancer. Unfortunately, many of us spend hours sitting at desks during the workday, then log more time at home in front of our phones, tablets, or the TV. So, just how bad is it for us to stay sedentary for most of the day, and what can we do to address the dangers?

3 Risks of Sitting All Day

 

Decreased Metabolism

Inactivity causes the metabolism to slow, which eventually translates to weight gain. Sitting burns just 139 calories per hour, while standing and walking burns many more – 186 and 324, respectively. Thus, the less you move each day, the fewer calories you’ll burn. Weight gain can ultimately lead to obesity, which is linked to serious health concerns including heart disease and stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Insulin Resistance

Long periods of sitting have been associated with reduced insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity refers to the body’s reaction to the effects of insulin. High insulin sensitivity allows your body to use glucose effectively and keep blood sugar levels in control. When insulin sensitivity dips too low, it leads to insulin resistance, in which the cells cannot absorb glucose properly. As a result, blood sugar levels increase, and left unaddressed, the condition leads to type 2 diabetes.

Elevated Disease Risk

In addition to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, sedentary lifestyles are also associated with elevated odds of other serious diseases. In particular, research from the National Cancer Institute shows people who sat and watched TV for at least 7 hours a day have a risk of death from any cause that’s 61% higher than their peers who watched less than an hour. For cardiovascular mortality, the risk increased 85%, while the increased risk for cancer was 22%. Of course, many individuals spend at least seven hours seated without watching TV, between time spent at their desks, commuting, dining, and relaxing.

What Can You Do to Minimize Your Risks?

While you may not be able to change the nature of your work or commute, there are plenty of ways to minimize the effects of sitting. For one, regular exercise can significantly improve health and reduce mortality risk. One study shows that getting 150 to 299 minutes of exercise each week can help offset the risk of deadly conditions associated with sitting.

In addition, it’s also important to take periodic breaks from sitting throughout the day. Set a timer for every hour to stand up, stretch, and walk around the office. Take trips to talk to your co-workers instead of emailing them when possible. Find small ways to inject more movement into your day, whether it’s taking the stairs or parking in a remote space in your lot. All of these little actions can add up to a big positive impact on your health.

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Using Stem Cells to Rebuild the Heart after a Heart Attack: Clinical Trial Results https://stemedix.com/blog/using-stem-cells-to-rebuild-the-heart-after-a-heart-attack-clinical-trial-results/ Fri, 15 Nov 2019 14:00:43 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9580 A myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow through the coronary arteries is blocked. A heart attack usually happens to people with atherosclerotic coronary heart disease, which narrows one or more of the coronary arteries. A blood clot becomes lodged in the narrowed artery, preventing blood from reaching the heart...

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A myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow through the coronary arteries is blocked. A heart attack usually happens to people with atherosclerotic coronary heart disease, which narrows one or more of the coronary arteries. A blood clot becomes lodged in the narrowed artery, preventing blood from reaching the heart muscle. Because the heart needs a virtually constant supply of oxygen-rich blood to survive, an interruption in blood flow to the heart can quickly cause muscle cells to die.

Dead heart muscle cells cannot help the heart pump blood. Thus, people who suffer a heart attack are often left with “weak” hearts. Instead of strongly squeezing blood out of the heart to the rest of the body, a larger portion of the blood remains in the heart (i.e. reduced ejection fraction). People who have had a heart attack that reduces ejection fraction commonly develop a condition known as congestive heart failure.

People with congestive heart failure often have difficult lives. Congestive heart failure patients periodically experience exacerbations that require hospitalization. They are put on restrictive diets; their salt and fluid intakes are limited. They must also take several different medications to help the heart pump blood through the arteries to the body and keep fluid levels in the body low. These medications do not heal or replace dead heart muscle cells. Instead, they make the remaining cells work harder (or decrease resistance in the arteries, or help the body eliminate fluid through urination).

What is needed is a way to regenerate dead heart muscle cells. Fortunately, several research groups are working on ways to use stem cells to regenerate heart muscle cells so that heart attack patients can regain heart muscle function.

There have been at least 11 clinical trials studying the effects of stem cells on patients with myocardial infarction. The trials show that stem cell infusion into the vein, the coronary artery, or the heart muscle itself is safe and well-tolerated by patients. Notably among the studies, patients with acute myocardial infarction who received allogeneic human mesenchymal cells intravenously had a better ejection fraction, better heart structure, and better lung function after six months than those who received a placebo. In the APOLLO trial, patients with acute myocardial infarction who received adipose-derived mesenchymal cells had half the dead heart muscle cells than those who received a placebo (i.e. lesion volume was 50% lower in treated patients).

Phase III clinical trials are considered definitive (pivotal) evidence of benefit. In phase III C-CURE trial, patients with heart failure due to coronary artery disease received autologous mesenchymal cells (i.e. their own cells, specially prepared). Treated patients enjoyed significantly increased ejection fraction (heart-pumping ability) and better functional capacity and quality of life. Other Phase II clinical trials (ADVANCE, CONCERT-CHF, TRIDENT, POSEIDON-DCM) are ongoing.

These results are welcome news for patients who suffer—or will one day suffer—from a heart attack, an event that happens in 735,000 Americans every year.

 

 

 

Reference: Golpanian, S. et al. (2016). Rebuilding the Damaged Heart: Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Cell-Based Therapy, and Engineered Heart Tissue. Physiological Reviews. 2016 Jul; 96(3): 1127–1168

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Exosomes Help Regenerate Intervertebral Disc Tissue: Implications For Degenerative Disc Disease https://stemedix.com/blog/exosomes-help-regenerate-intervertebral-disc-tissue-implications-for-degenerative-disc-disease/ Wed, 13 Nov 2019 14:00:04 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9576 The spinal column is made up of more than a dozen vertebral bones stacked on top of each other. Since the spine is not a single bone, it is capable of pivoting and bending, which gives the torso a degree of flexibility. A key part of this structure relies on the substance between the vertebral...

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The spinal column is made up of more than a dozen vertebral bones stacked on top of each other. Since the spine is not a single bone, it is capable of pivoting and bending, which gives the torso a degree of flexibility. A key part of this structure relies on the substance between the vertebral bones called the intravertebral disc.

The intravertebral disc is made up of the annulus fibrosis (the tough outer ring) and the nucleus pulposus (the jelly-like inner core). Each intervertebral disc acts as a shock absorber between the vertebral bones. Over time and with age, however, the intervertebral disc tends to breakdown. This can cause called degenerative disc disease, which includes herniated discs (“slipped discs”), pinched nerves, neck and back pain, and nerve problems.  Obviously, finding ways to reverse or prevent intravertebral discs from breaking down is of great medical and scientific interest and for the countless patients with degenerative disc disease.

As with other groups interested in regenerative medicine, researchers have turned to stem cells in an effort to regenerate tissue within the intravertebral disc. One research group reported their recent success using bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. The scientists collected exosomes—very small packets filled with highly concentrated molecules such as proteins, microRNA, transcription factors and lipids—from these stem cells. In this study, researchers also collected exosomes from nucleus pulposus cells and tested the exosomes in various ways.

The researchers found that exosomes could send out signals to bone marrow mesenchymal cells and call them to the intervertebral disc. The exosomes also prompted the stem cells to become new nucleus pulposus-like cells. Conversely, exosomes from bone marrow mesenchymal cells caused nucleus pulposus cells to grow and multiply (i.e. proliferate). Finally, exosomes helped the tissue in degenerating vertebral discs to express the same genes as healthy discs.

While these results are complex, they suggest that exosomes from bone marrow mesenchymal cells and nucleus pulposus cells work together to recruit and make more healthy cells in degenerating vertebral discs. This could have profound implications for the millions of people with degenerative disc disease. If these results are confirmed in clinical trials, it would mean that exosomes could be used to prevent or reverse degenerative disc disease. We anxiously await further work in this exciting field.

 

 

Reference: Kang L. et al. (2017). Exosomes as potential alternatives to stem cell therapy for intervertebral disc degeneration: in-vitro study on exosomes in interaction of nucleus pulposus cells and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Stem Cell Research Therapy. 2017; 8: 108.

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What Is Intermittent Fasting? https://stemedix.com/blog/what-is-intermittent-fasting/ Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:00:11 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9583 If you’ve been looking for ways to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight, you may have come across the term “intermittent fasting,” or IF. While it may seem like just another fad diet, many experts agree that this eating pattern may actually hold up to its claims. Not only is IF safe and effective,...

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If you’ve been looking for ways to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight, you may have come across the term “intermittent fasting,” or IF. While it may seem like just another fad diet, many experts agree that this eating pattern may actually hold up to its claims. Not only is IF safe and effective, but it could also play an important role in diabetes prevention. The catch is that it’s all in how you approach IF – discover some important tips below.

A Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting


What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting isn’t an entirely new concept, but it was only recently popularized after a number of documentaries and books hailing the practice emerged from 2012 to 2016. The concept is simple: IF encourages eating only during a limited window of time, then fasting during the “off” hours.

In between meals, our body breaks down food and uses it as energy. When we don’t use all of this energy, however, it enters the cells, where it gets stored as fat. Yet, for sugar to enter the cells, insulin must be present. When we give our bodies a break from eating, insulin levels drop, and fat cells release built-up sugar to be used as energy. As a result, fasting encourages insulin levels to go down, thereby promoting weight loss.

What’s the Best Way to Approach It?

As with many well-known diets, there are different approaches to IF. Some advocates for the diet recommend fasting every other day, but many individuals find this approach too restrictive. Luckily, there are other, more sustainable approaches to try.

Most IF plans fall into an eight- or 12-hour window. In the first, you’d be able to eat within an eight-hour time frame, then fast for the other 16 hours of the day. In the second, you’d have 12 hours to eat and 12 to fast. Research suggests the more restrictive window may have a greater payoff: according to a 2018 study conducted by the University of Alabama, men with prediabetes who practiced “early time-restricted feeding” by having all of their meals between 7 am and 3 pm had drastically lower insulin levels than their peers who followed the 12-hour method, eating between 7 am and 7 pm. Their appetites had also reduced significantly.

Of course, IF is unlikely to yield any noticeable benefits if you fill your eight- or 12-hour eating period with high-calorie, nutritionally-poor food choices. Yet, if you’re following a sensible diet prioritizing vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein, you may notice some improvement by restricting your “eating window.”

As with any diet, IF is also only as effective as your ability to stick with it. If you’re interested in trying it, you might start with a manageable 12-hour window, such as 10 am to 6 pm. Or, simply adopt some of the principles from intermittent fasting if fasting seems too restrictive to you: avoid snacking between meals by taking in enough nutrient-dense calories during your meals and try not to eat after dinner. And, as with any diet, be sure to get the okay from your physician before starting IF.

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Stem Cells from Elderly Patients Can Form New Bone https://stemedix.com/blog/stem-cells-from-elderly-patients-can-form-new-bone/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 14:00:21 +0000 https://stemedix.com/?p=9573 Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become weak, brittle, and are prone to fracture. While osteoporosis is commonly considered a disease of low bone density, it is more complex and extensive than that. New bone is constantly formed and destroyed (resorbed) throughout life. In osteoporosis, however, the rate at which it is resorbed accelerates,...

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Osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become weak, brittle, and are prone to fracture. While osteoporosis is commonly considered a disease of low bone density, it is more complex and extensive than that. New bone is constantly formed and destroyed (resorbed) throughout life. In osteoporosis, however, the rate at which it is resorbed accelerates, while the rate at which it is formed slows down. In other words, bone is being destroyed faster than it can be formed. This process changes the size and shape of bones and alters its microarchitecture (i.e. the structure of bone on a microscopic level).

Without screening, most people will not know that they have osteoporosis until they have a bone fracture. Bones simply get weaker until some minor trauma causes one or more bones to break. Fortunately, efforts to screen for the disease (e.g. DXA/DEXA or bone density scans) have helped doctors diagnose cases of osteoporosis before the disease progresses to the point of bone fracture.

The main treatment for osteoporosis is a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates block the cells that resorb bone (osteoclasts) to allow the cells that form new bone (osteoblasts) to catch up. While bisphosphonates are effective, many patients experience severe GI side effects from these drugs including reflux, esophagitis, and ulcers, and cannot take them.

In an effort to find new ways to treat osteoporosis and help patients who cannot tolerate bisphosphonates, researchers are exploring the possibility of using stem cells to treat the disease. Ideally, one would take stem cells from patients to help regrow bone. What has been unclear was whether a person with osteoporosis still has enough healthy stem cells to effectively regrow bone.

To test this, Dr. Jiang and colleagues collected stem cells from the fat tissue of patients with osteoporosis (i.e. adipose-derived stem cells). The researchers took these stem cells and encouraged them to grow and multiply for 14 days. After the stem cells had proliferated, they injected the cells into mice and studied the effects on bone growth. After 4 weeks, the researchers saw evidence on X-ray scans that adipose-derived stem cells caused new bone growth.

These results demonstrate that even patients with osteoporosis still possess stem cells that can be used to treat their own osteoporosis. While the stem cells need to be treated in a laboratory setting for 14 days, it is potentially possible to use a patient’s own stem cells to regrow bone and treat their osteoporosis.

The next phase of research will be to conduct a clinical trial to show test whether autologous stem cell treatment (injecting a patient with their own stem cells) can regrow bone in humans. While those clinical studies will be critical in determining whether this approach is practical and effective for patients, this laboratory research is very promising.

 

 

Reference: Jiang M. et al. (2014). Bone formation in adipose-derived stem cells isolated from elderly patients with osteoporosis: a preliminary study. Cell Biology International. 2014 Jan;38(1):97-105.

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