A Look into Stem Cell Therapy for Lupus

A Look into Stem Cell Therapy for Lupus

Lupus is a long-term illness which can lead to inflammation and pain in any part of the body. As an autoimmune condition, lupus is characterized by an immune response in which the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. Oftentimes, the condition affects the skin and joints. In serious cases, it can also affect the internal organs, such as the kidneys and heart. Common symptoms include rash, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. 

There is currently no cure for lupus, though medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and immune-suppressants are used to control symptoms. In severe cases, cytotoxic drugs may be prescribed. These medications target and destroy cells that grow at a rapid rate. In the case of autoimmune conditions, the hyperactive immune system produces autoantibodies too rapidly, and the medications may help to control this response. 

Unfortunately, drugs such as cytotoxic medicines have a number of unfavorable side effects, including toxic effects on the blood and immune systems. Patients become more vulnerable to infections such as pneumonia, and hair loss is a common side effect. 

Frustratingly, lupus can be a painful and debilitating illness, and patients are left with few treatment options. Moreover, not all patients respond to medications as desired. 

Stem Cell Therapy for Lupus 

Any successful therapy for lupus should help to control the flare of symptoms and balance the body’s immune response. While achieving this harmony has proven difficult with traditional therapies, recent research suggests stem cell treatment could hold the potential in helping to manage the symptoms of this autoimmune condition. 

In particular, the intravenous administration of a patient’s own stem cells could help to regulate the body’s immune response, restoring function in the organs affected by the illness while simultaneously minimizing or eliminating the need for certain medications. 

Stem cells can give rise to virtually any cell tissue within the body. They also have the ability to repair damaged tissue because they have the ability to multiply. Within recent years, studies involving stem cell therapy have been performed, offering immense promise to patients with autoimmune conditions seeking alternative treatment options. Contact a Care Coordinator today for a free assessment!

PRP Therapy – Post Management Care

PRP Therapy – Post Management Care

Many studies support platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to help benefit patients with chronic pain and injuries. This article will cover the major aspects of post management care and the best tips to optimize results.

Important tips to keep in mind:

·   Avoid Taking any anti-inflammatory drugs after the procedure avoid for 14 days following the procedure

·   Apply heat only for 10-14 days , you may experience some soreness and swelling in this time period.

·   Avoid any strenuous activities, exercising and physical therapy for the week following treatment

·   Stay hydrated

·   Improvements typically begin after 2 weeks

About a week after the procedure, patients should start physical therapy, which involves myofascial release, gentle stretching, engaging the articular range of motion, and core stabilizing exercises.

Other activities (e.g., stationary bike, swimming) are also an appropriate choice during the recovery phase. Interventional imaging techniques such as stimulation therapy and Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) should not be used at this stage.

Once 4-8 weeks have passed, patients can gradually engage in more intense activities, including yoga, Pilates, and light weight lifting. However, forceful rotation and manipulation are not recommended.

Following the correct guidelines during the first few weeks of recovery is crucial for the success of the procedure. The injected cells are quite delicate, hence the need to avoid strenuous physical activities that may cause irreversible damage to the cells.

Patients should also keep in mind that the side effect profile is diverse and can only be evaluated on a case-to-case basis. In other words, one patient might experience pain and inflammation after the procedure, while another presents with no symptoms.

The severity and extent of these symptoms are also dependent on the site of injection, with articulations being the most susceptible to traumatic injuries and side effects.

Recovery by weeks

Weeks 1 & 2

During this phase, you should restrict your movements and physical activity to avoid putting too much tension on your body. However, this doesn’t mean giving up to a sedentary lifestyle as it’s not the best approach.

Expect to experience pain, inflammation, and soreness.

Moreover, remember to avoid running, weight lifting, or any other strenuous exercise. Other activities, such as gentle stretching, are still allowed.

If you experience serious inflammation, consider using ice bags on the affected area , but try to avoid ice and NSAIDS until after the 14 day period. You can also use natural compounds that have potent anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, CBD, and arnica.

Weeks 3 & 4

At this stage, the pain and inflammation should slightly subside, which allows you to practice more intense activities, but do not attempt to lift heavy weights or perform high-impact exercises. An appropriate number would be to keep the intensity of the workouts under 50% of what you’re used to. This will allow the stem cells to implant themselves in the damaged tissue and kick start the healing process.

Weeks 5 & 6

In this stage, focus on core-stabilizing exercises to strengthen your core muscles and give time for the joints to get used to the new routine. Activities such as stationary bike, elliptical, stretching, yoga, Pilates, and swimming exercise are permitted.

Weeks 7 & 8

Inflammation and pain might be gone at this time; however, you should still be careful about the type of exercises you’re performing. For patients who are still dealing with pain and swelling, you can use ice bags to accelerate the healing process.

Months 3–6

During this period, stem cells have reached their peak healing potential, which should not get interrupted with intense physical activity. Instead, settle down for less-strenuous workouts that do not involve any compressive, twisting, or pivoting movements. Avoid uneven ground. Contact a Care Coordinator today for a free assessment!

New Study Focuses on MS Symptoms Through Stem Cell Transplantation

New Study Focuses on MS Symptoms Through Stem Cell Transplantation

Multiple sclerosis (MS) poses distinct challenges for many individuals. Not only does it present an array of frustrating symptoms ranging from muscle weakness and numbness to vision and bladder problems, but in some patients, it may resist medications altogether. For patients in search for an alternative option for relapse-remitting MS, researchers at Duke University School of Medicine are exploring a new potential therapy in a clinical trial: stem cell transplantation.

The trial, which is highly selective and randomized, will test the efficacy of stem cell transplantation of bone marrow against several different immune reconstitution therapies. Participants will include patients for whom disease-modifying therapies have been ineffective in the past.

While the study’s investigators acknowledge the risks that come with immunosuppression, they are also optimistic in the treatment’s ability to manage some of the most progressive forms of MS, calling stem cell transplantation “one of the most promising therapies” for the condition. By reconstituting the immune system through suppression and then introducing stem cells, the objective is to combat the inflammatory flares that occur in the brain and spinal cord every 12 to 15 months in this form of MS.

Immune reconstitution has already shown promise in the past, and people with MS who have undergone the treatment have witnessed the absence of new symptoms several years after pursuing the therapy. Compared to existing therapies, many of which have been around since the early 1990s, the treatment could hold enormous potential under the right circumstances. The trial’s team is working diligently to mitigate potential risks and thoroughly examine any individual risk factors with prospective participants. Contact a Care Coordinator today for a free assessment!

The Source of Exosomes Matters

The Source of Exosomes Matters

Many clinical studies have shown the safety and benefit of exosomes. As a result, numerous companies have been bringing exosome products to market. However, not all exosomes are the same. The cell type from which the exosomes are collected makes an enormous difference in safety and results.

Scientists have recently drawn attention to the fact that cell type matters when it comes to exosomes. Virtually every cell in the human body releases small packets of substances called exosomes. The number of exosomes and the substances inside exosomes can vary considerably, depending on the type of cell. Exosomes derived from stem cells and stromal cells have received the most research attention. That is because exosomes from stem cells contain most of the substances that provide a benefit to patients from stem cells. In other words, if you receive treatment of exosomes from stem cells, you are basically getting additional benefits from the exosomes that you would have gotten from just the stem cells themselves. However, the source of the stem cell exosomes matter.

Most of the research done in this area revolves around two types of stem cells: Exosomes taken from bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and exosomes taken from placental mesenchymal stem cells.  Bone marrow stem cells seem to have two major advantages over the placenta-derived stem cells. The first is that bone marrow stem cells have a stronger ability to modulate the immune system. The second is that bone marrow stem cells have immune privilege, which means they can avoid the body’s immune system. Specifically, placenta stem cell exosomes contain higher levels of PDL1 and HLA-G, which can make them more likely to provoke a negative immune response.

Surprisingly but reasonably, there have been of 63,000 scientific articles published on the safety and efficacy of bone marrow stem cells, but only about 1,200 on placenta stem cells.

Talk to your stem cell and exosome provider about your choices of exosomes, and make sure to ask from what cell type the exosomes are derived.

Reference: Hicok, Kevin & Vangsness, Thomas & Dordevic, Maxwell. (2020). Exosome Origins: Why the Cell Source Matters. 4. 1-4.

Stem Cell Therapy for Autoimmune Diseases

Stem Cell Therapy for Autoimmune Diseases

The immune system is divided into two major entities, depending on the type of action it exerts; the innate immune system and the specific immune system.

The innate immune system, which you can think of as the first responder to foreign pathogens that try to penetrate the body. This system is also referred to as non-specific immunity because it does not differentiate between different aggressors. The main components of the innate immune system include mechanical barriers (e.g., skin, acidic environment of the stomach, cilia found in the respiratory tract) and immune cells (e.g., macrophages, natural killers, neutrophils, basophils).

The specific immune system, which implements unique immune cells and antibodies to specifically target germs. For instance, when you get infected with the stomach flu, the immune system will produce specific cells and antibodies to the proteins found on the surface of that virus. As a result, it will be ready for the next aggressive episode since it has the necessary information to target the virus.

These two entities work to complement one another to keep us alive, with thousands of foreign pathogens destroyed every day. Now that you’re familiar with the immune system, let’s see how stem cell therapy may help in these cases.

What is an autoimmune disease?

An autoimmune disease is an inflammatory and immune reaction to self-antigens. In other words, the body will attack proteins found on harmless substances, such as blood cells, neurons, and pancreatic cells. Some examples of autoimmune diseases include lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Autoimmune diseases are poorly understood, hence the absence of any curative treatment. Most therapeutic approaches focus on long-term medical management that includes taking chemotherapeutic drugs, corticosteroids, and immunomodulators. Moreover, some severe cases may require surgical interventions.

Fortunately, recent research is showing positive results in patients who underwent stem cell therapy for their autoimmune disease using mesenchymal stem cells.

How does stem cell therapy help with autoimmune disease?

Stem cells have been extensively researched for their beneficial effects on several maladies, including the ones that get triggered by a defective immune system. The way that stem cells give this result is by repairing the damaged tissues and regulating the action of immune cells. Consequently, the cells will be less likely to attack self-antigens anymore, tempering down the symptoms of the condition.

Mesenchymal stem cells are a preferred type of cell that avoid ethical issues with extracting these cells and the efficacy they showed over the past few years. Researchers reported that MSCs focus most of their action on T regulatory cells that control the reaction of the specific immune system to foreign pathogens. If this line of cells is not well-regulated, the immune system will overreact to most antigens, resulting in the classic self-inflicted damage.

There are no cures for Autoimmune conditions, and some do find relief from traditional methods. However, there are risks and side effects to consider. Hopefully, a natural alternative option like stem cell therapy can provide additional options for those seeking treatment for autoimmune conditions. Contact us today for a free consultation!

The Differences Between Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy

The Differences Between Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy

Orthopedic injuries occur each day and from different causes. An injury can result from a fall or a trauma to a musculoskeletal part of the body (e.g., knees, hips, shoulders). Many times, age or overuse can create a more common occurrence for these types of injury.  

Some injuries are minor and the recovery is as easy as rest and at-home recovery methods. Other more serious injuries may require surgery and physical therapy to return to normal function. Some patients, however, may never recover fully and develop complications related to the initial trauma, such as decreased range of motion, chronic pain, psychological issues, or risks from surgery. 

Today, regenerative medicine has presented innovative biological advances that offer an opportunity to address their medical issues in innovative ways that involve using biomedical therapies, such as platelet-rich plasma therapy and stem cell therapy.

What Is Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy?

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a substance featuring concentrated platelets and proteins which are derived from whole blood. When the platelets are isolated and their concentration is increased, their growth factors are amplified by five to ten times. 

This concentrated solution holds tremendous potential for promoting wound-healing and accelerating the process of regenerating lost tissue to help patients regain their physical function as soon as possible and relieve their pain.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment is widely regarded as a safe and effective therapy since it is one’s own blood source. The potential benefits can be decreased pain, medication intake reduction, promotion of faster healing rate, slowing down of cartilage destruction, and stimulates cell growth and repair at site of injury.

In a 2014 study, scientists analyzed the effects of PRP therapy when associated with ultrasound guidance. They concluded that “According to the current results, which document full muscle recovery and no relapse except for one case, platelet-rich plasma ultrasound-guided injection represents a valid mini-invasive treatment for muscle injuries.”

What Is Stem Cell Therapy?

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can develop into various cell types and tissues. Scientists were extremely enthusiastic about the therapeutic potential of these cells in restoring damaged tissues, the functionality of organs, and managing symptoms brought on by chronic and degenerative conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Many studies have used various types of stem cells in the treatment of different types of sports injuries. Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSCs) is one of the most common stem cells in today’s research and applications. They are sourced from various tissues; adipose (fat) tissue, bone marrow, and the umbilical cord tissue.

In a 2017 review, scientists reveal the beneficial outcomes of mesenchymal stem cells from eight different studies. The studies were performed on patients that had varying degrees of osteoarthritis. The findings concluded were promotion of cartilage regeneration, reduction of pain, and improved joint function. In addition, they were able to determine that the more stem cells used, the better the outcome of the therapy. 

What Is The Difference Between These Two Treatments?

Despite the similar regenerative properties that both treatment options offer, there is a clear difference in their mechanisms of action, as PRP therapy focuses on the recruitment of immune cells, growth factors, and hormones to stimulate the regeneration of the damaged tissue.

On the other hand, stem cell therapy works by replacing the basic building blocks of the damaged tissue, which are the cells. Simply put, stem cells will differentiate into myocytes chondrocytes, osteocytes, fibroblasts, and other cells found in the muscle/joint capsule to restore the physical function of patients.

Regardless of these differences, they are both promising options due to their non-invasiveness, quick results, and lack of any serious side effects. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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