New Horizons in Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells were first discovered in 1909, and have been of interest in medicine since the late 1960s. Fast forward fifty years, and the volume of knowledge and possibilities for the use of stem cell therapy has increased substantially, especially for regenerative purposes. There is very little controversy as to the potential for tissue regeneration and the existence of stem cells throughout the body. However, there remains considerable debate about which stem cells to use and how they can and should be used.
There are several categories of stem cells that are approved for use - autologous (from self) and allogenic (from another human). Xenograft (from another species) and embryonic are not approved for commercial use in clinical practice.
Bone marrow and umbilical cord stem cells both fall into the category of adult stem cells and are currently used in regenerative medicine. These stem cells can differentiate into bone, cartilage and connective tissue, which are beneficial for individuals who suffer from age-related degeneration of joint tissues.
The ongoing debate in the medical community is autologous vs. allogenic, or more simply yours vs. theirs. Some physicians believe that cryogenically preserved cells are less viable, while others consider those cells as alive, but in a suspended state. There are considerations on both sides of the fence in this young and developing branch of science.
Addison Pain Management is located at 16633 Dallas Pkwy., Ste. 15, in Addison. For more information, call 972-380-0000 or, visit AddisonPain.com. They believe that both holistic medicine and regenerative medicine are paramount when treating chronic musculoskeletal pain conditions. The goal is to provide patients with the knowledge and power to make an informed decision to best meet their needs.
An Introduction to Stem Cell Therapy
John Salley receiving treatment
In today’s world of modern medicine, the typical recommendations of major surgery, cortisone shots and opioid supplements are taking a backseat to alternative methods that support a more holistic approach.
One such option that is leading the charge in treating a variety of degenerative conditions is stem cell therapy, a form of regenerative medicine. Derived from the simple idea of harnessing the body’s ability to heal itself, regenerative therapies make it possible to repair damaged tissue using our own body as the source of medicine. Thousands of patients have been successfully treated using this method, from former NBA player John Salley to the those suffering from chronic pain.
Stem cells can be found in muscle, skin, teeth, bone marrow or fatty tissue (adipose), which is the most abundant source, making it the optimal site for extraction. Extraction begins by obtaining a mixture of cells from healthy fat tissue in a similar, yet less intrusive fashion than traditional liposuction. The short procedure takes 30 to 90 minutes with only the use of local anesthesia and a syringe, making for a minimally invasive process.
This is followed by spinning the mixture of extracted cells to isolate stem cells and growth factors from the fat tissue. The resulting solution is then introduced to the damaged area, either systemically or into the central nervous system for neurological conditions.
When reinjected into the affected area, stem cells work with other healthy cells to repair and regenerate new tissue through cell division. In addition to cell regeneration, the mixture of growth factors promotes the production of new blood vessels. The easily adaptable cells can form a variety of different tissues including bone, cartilage, muscle, ligament and tendon, making its capabilities extremely versatile.
Potential applications for the therapy are almost limitless. Early studies have shown positive results in treating orthopedic (tendon/ligament injuries, osteoarthritis); degenerative (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes); neurological (multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury); and autoimmune (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, colitis, lupus) conditions.
For more information, visit American Stem Cell Centers of Excellence at AmericanStemCellCoe.com. With locations in Dallas, Miami and Los Angeles, the facility also provides topical health products that include a platelet-rich plasma take-home facial, derived from a small sample of the patient’s blood that stimulates collagen production and aids in skin resurfacing.