Stem cell therapy for knees has the potential to provide relief to a lot of people. Knee pain is an common condition that affects millions of Americans and people around the world. Considering the daily load that legs bear, a problem with your knees can limit movement. Knee pain can substantially reduce your quality of life and anti-inflammatory medication can only do so much. Suffice it to say, there exists significant interest in finding solutions to address knee pain and to restore healthy joint function. That’s where stem cell therapy for knees comes in!
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Stem Cell Therapy For Knees
Bell’s palsy is the most common form of idiopathic facial paralysis that we see as physicians. We report on a 43-year-old woman with a two-year history of unilateral facial palsy that had stabilized, and was unresponsive to treatment with steroids and antiviral medications. Treatment with adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells provided a significant improvement in symptomology with thirty days. Bell’s palsy is an idiopathic facial nerve weakness or palsyof 7th cranial nerve, thought to be caused by a viral or autoimmune origin. It is the most common cause of facial paralysis, accounting for 50-75% of cases and is part of a differential diagnosis of a cerebrovascular accident. Middle age patients are most commonly affected by the disease process, and it affect both males and females with an equal predilection. Resolution often begins within two weeks, and continues for up to six months. Many, if not most,resolve spontaneously. However, it is not uncommon to see patients
with relentless symptoms for 2-3 years extending to 7-10 years. Comorbid factors contribute to the likelihood of onset, and includepregnancy, diabetes, hypertension, Guillain-Barré syndrome,multiple sclerosis, Lyme Disease and myasthenia gravis, to name a few.
The facial nerve originates from the motor nucleus of the pons. Entering the internal acoustic meatus in the petrous portion of the temporal bone. An arachnoid-lined dura mater sheath encases the nerve, exiting through the stylomastoid foramen. The extracranial distal fivebranches innervate the face distal to the stylomastoid foramen. The intracranial branches provide special sensation to the anterior 2/3 of the tongue, and parasympathetic innervation to the stapedius, the salivary glands, the sinuses, the nose, the palatine nerves and the lacrimal gland amongst others. Thus, paralysis can involve multiple systems of the facial anatomy. There is drooping of the corner of the mouth, inability to close the affected eye, dry eye or epiphora, drooling, sensitivity to sound, pain of the face or behind the ear, inability to taste food and facial tingling.
There are changes of appearance, but the functional abnormalities are usually more debilitating. The facial nerve’s anatomical course has led some to believe that the nerve interacts with other anatomical structures along its path through the bone and soft tissue . Specifically, the nerve is adjacent to the meninges and can develop entrapment neuropathies that can find relief with chiropractic manipulation and treatment .
The trapezius and sternomastoid muscles are supplied by the spinal accessory nerve and are capable of contributing to a Bell’s palsy by the proximity of the nuclei of the trigeminal, accessory and facial nerves. Traditional treatment involves antiviral medications within three days of onset, and oral steroids. The immunosuppressive aspect of steroids in this inflammatory process may be the key to resolving the symptomology. Sadly, many times patients are told that they have to learn to live with the symptomlogy. There are reports in the literature of acupuncture utilized within three days of symptom onset, relieving the effects of the palsy or completely curing 100 of 684 cases of facial nerve paralysis. Traditional Chinese medicine oftener commends herbal treatments to supplement and treat facialpalsy. Rubis reported in 2013 that she performed low level laser treatment for Bell’s palsy using a Gallium arsenide (GaAs) class 4 laser with a wavelength of 910 nm. An improvement she reports were 70-80% after the first treatment. The use of laser treatment for nerve injury has been reported in the literature with successful results[6,7]. We report a case where adipose derived stem cells were used for precisely this purpose.
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Systematic literature review.
This study provided a systematic review of randomized controlled trials which assessed the therapeutic effects of stem cell treatments, surgical interventions, and nonsurgical treatments on the outcomes of patients diagnoses with intervertebral disk degeneration (IDD).
A MEDLINE (2000-2017), PubMed (2000-2017), and Google scholar (1995-2000) database search was performed to identify published articles reporting on patient-reported clinical outcomes. A total of 12 articles were identified and met the inclusion criteria.
Literature evaluating the comparative treatment outcomes between patients who underwent surgical versus nonsurgical interventions demonstrated mixed findings in treatment efficacy. Although studies involving the manipulation of endogenous stem cells in fibrocartilage suggested that this application could be a potentially noninvasive, stem cell–based strategy to treat fibrocartilage degeneration, especially in patients with IDD.
The reviewed literature suggested that no clinical significance exists between surgical and nonsurgical treatment for IDD. The decision to undergo surgical or conservative treatment should depend on the patient’s state of health at the time of surgery, as well as any other potentially alarming factors (altered mental status, level of consciousness, comorbidities, etc) that could be exacerbated with the proposed treatment. Mesenchymal stem cells and fibrocartilage stem cells may also be an effective therapeutic option for the regeneration of a degenerated intervertebral disk. To move forward in finding an effective therapeutic treatment protocol for IDD, further research needs to be implemented that minimizes the limitation discussed in this review.
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Stem cells have the potential to treat a wide range of diseases. Here, discover why these cells are such a powerful tool for treating disease—and what hurdles experts face before new therapies reach patients.
How can stem cells treat disease?
When most people think about about stem cells treating disease they think of a stem cell transplant.
In a stem cell transplant, stem cells are first specialized into the necessary adult cell type. Then, those mature cells replace tissue that is damaged by disease or injury. This type of treatment could be used to:
- Replace neurons damaged by spinal cord injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other neurological problems;
- Produce insulin that could treat people with diabetes or cartilage to repair damage caused by arthritis; or
- Replace virtually any tissue or organ that is injured or diseased.
But stem cell-based therapies can do much more.
- Studying how stem cells develop into heart muscle cells could provide clues about how we could induce heart muscle to repair itself after a heart attack.
- The cells could be used to study disease, identify new drugs, or screen drugs for toxic side effects.
Any of these would have a significant impact on human health without transplanting a single cell.
What diseases could be treated by stem cell research?
In theory, there’s no limit to the types of diseases that could be treated with stem cell research. Given that researchers may be able to study all cell types they have the potential to make breakthroughs in any disease.
How can I learn more about CIRM-funded stem cell research in a particular disease?
CIRM has created disease pages for many of the major diseases being targeted by stem cell scientists. You can find those disease pages here.
You can also sort our complete list of CIRM awards to see what we’ve funded in different disease areas.
What cell therapies are available right now?
While there are a growing number of potential therapies being tested in clinical trials there are only a few stem cell therapies that have so far been approved by the FDA. Two therapies that CIRM provided early funding for have been approved. Those are:
- Fedratinib, approved by the FDA in August 2019 as a first line therapy for myelofibrosis (scarring of the bone marrow)
- Glasdegib, approved in November 2016 as a combination therapy with low dose are-C for patients 75 years of age and older with acute myelogenous leukemia
Right now the most commonly used stem cell-based therapy is bone marrow transplantation. Blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow were the first stem cells to be identified and were the first to be used in the clinic. This life-saving technique has helped thousands people worldwide who had been suffering from blood cancers, such as leukemia.
In addition to their current use in cancer treatments, research suggests that bone marrow transplants will be useful in treating autoimmune diseases and in helping people tolerate transplanted organs.
Other therapies based on adult stem cells are currently in clinical trials. Until those trials are complete we won’t know which type of stem cell is most effective in treating different diseases.
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Stem cells are important for living organisms for many reasons. In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst, the inner cells give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all of the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lung, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease.
Given their unique regenerative abilities, stem cells offer new potentials for treating diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease. However, much work remains to be done in the laboratory and the clinic to understand how to use these cells for cell-based therapies to treat disease, which is also referred to as regenerative or reparative medicine.
Laboratory studies of stem cells enable scientists to learn about the cells’ essential properties and what makes them different from specialized cell types. Scientists are already using stem cells in the laboratory to screen new drugs and to develop model systems to study normal growth and identify the causes of birth defects.
Research on stem cells continues to advance knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells replace damaged cells in adult organisms. Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating areas of contemporary biology, but, as with many expanding fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as rapidly as it generates new discoveries.
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