Stem cells are a remarkable natural remedy.
They appear to be a sort of cellular tabula rasa, and when transferred to the site of injury or damage in the body, can function as cells specific to the new site do. In other words, this apparent blank slate of a cell can turn into a heart muscle cell, brain cell, or more – the options are endless.
Adult stem cells can be found throughout the body – and are believed to reside in specific areas within each type of body tissue.
Imagine, then, how stem cells might be used in the treatment of neurological disorders.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that as many as 5.3 million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s disease, the majority of whom are over the age of 65. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disorder that is also the most common cause of dementia. Studies show that stem cell treatment in Alzheimer’s patients allows healthy cells to migrate to damaged areas of the brain and develop into exactly the type of cells that are missing. Stem cell therapy is one of the most promising treatment options for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a chronic, degenerative disorder that affects the neurons responsible for movement. Symptoms of ALS include muscular wasting, and difficulty breathing, swallowing and speaking. The cause of ALS is not known at this time, and there currently is no cure. However, as stem cell therapies are being investigated, results seem to demonstrate that stem-cell based therapy in ALS patients is safe and may be able to slow down progression of the disease.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple sclerosis is an often debilitating disorder that affects the central nervous system. A decrease in the myelin sheath (the insulating fatty cover of part of a nerve cell) disrupts the critical flow of nerve impulses that transmit messages between the body and the brain. Although the cause is unknown, it is believed to be an autoimmune disorder.
In a 2016 National Institutes of Health experimental treatment of 24 patients with relapsing-remitting MS, stem cell treatment resulted in improved range and quality of motions in the extremities, normalized muscle tone, decreased fatigue and general weakness, and improved quality of life.
Muscular Dystrophy (MD)
Muscular dystrophy is a genetically related degenerative disorder that causes an accelerated rate of cellular and tissue death, leading to extreme muscle weakness and loss. A muscle biopsy is used to diagnose the condition. There are nine common forms of MD, and the majority affect multiple body systems, including the heart, eyes, brain, endocrine system, nervous system, and the gastrointestinal system. Promising study results indicate that stem cells may help regenerate lost muscle tissue in patients with MD.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive degenerative disorder that affects more than 1 million people in the U.S. alone. It involves the loss of brain cells that produce a critical neurotransmitter known as dopamine, but it is not known why these cells die. There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, but stem cell therapy appears to be a promising treatment option for people with the disease.
Millions of Americans suffer the aftereffects of cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), or strokes, each year. Strokes occur when the delivery of oxygen to the brain is disrupted. Strokes vary in severity, and symptoms depend largely on how much of the brain was affected and for how long. Studies at the National Institutes of Health found that stem cell treatment in patients who had suffered a stroke contributed to their functional recovery.
At National Stem Cell Centers, our affiliated physicians believe that adult stem cell treatments have enormous potential benefits in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, and ALS.
You can discuss the neurologic benefits of stem cell therapy with a board-certified surgeon at National Stem Cell Centers. To find out if you are a good candidate for regenerative medicine, call our New York office at (646) 448-0427 or our Long Island office at (516) 403-1457 today.