CLINICAL TRIALS OF STEM CELL THERAPY
Surgeries and medications have always been the go-to treatments for most people whenever a severe medical condition strikes. However, with the advancement in scientific technology and methods, it has been gathered that surgeries often do more harm to people than good. Recently, stem cell therapy has emerged as a potential treatment option for chronic health conditions such as knee osteoarthritis and some neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s Disease.
Stem Cell Therapy for Articular Cartilage Regeneration in Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common types of arthritis. It results from the damage of articular cartilage. Articular cartilage is a white living tissue covering the end of bones where they interact with each other. It doesn’t contain any blood vessels and is dependent on the diffusion of nutrients through the bone tissue. Several factors could lead to articular cartilage damage, such as repetitive injuries, degenerative and inflammatory conditions of the joint, etc.
Unfortunately, the current surgical options available for the treatment of osteoarthritis are invasive and have been largely ineffective at addressing regeneration of articular cartilage. In contrast, stem cell therapy has shown immense potential in cartilage repair and management of disease symptoms. Several scientific studies show that mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate into chondrocytes, the only cells found in healthy cartilage.
For example, the latest study in a rat KOA model revealed that when fluorescein-labeled human adipose-derived MSCs were introduced into the articular cavity, they significantly impacted OA. Moreover, the subjects under observation showed a remarkable improvement.
Impact of Stem Cell Therapy on Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease is a chronic neurological condition characterized by movement and speech impairment, stiffness, tremors, and an overall decrease in the patient’s quality of life. Although PD cannot be cured completely, certain medications can help manage its symptoms. Stem cell therapy has proven to be highly effective for managing motor and nonmotor symptoms of the disease.
Clinical trials conducted on rodents have suggested that MSCs can quickly travel to the brain when introduced through the intranasal route. They generate growth factors such as NGF, BDNF, etc., and reduce the inflammation of neurons, thereby restoring their normal function.
All In All
In conclusion, it could be said that the clinical trials for stem cell therapy show it has an incredible potential for reducing the progression of various health conditions, such as osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s Disease. As further studies emerge on this treatment option, more people can hope to benefit from it.
Boika A, Aleinikava N, Chyzhyk V, Zafranskaya M, Nizheharodava D, Ponomarev V. Mesenchymal stem cells in Parkinson’s disease: Motor and nonmotor symptoms in the early posttransplant period. Surg Neurol Int. 2020 Nov 11;11:380. doi: 10.25259/SNI_233_2020. PMID: 33408914; PMCID: PMC7771400.
Shuangpeng Jiang, Guangzhao Tian, Xu Li, Zhen Yang, Fuxin Wang, Zhuang Tian, Bo Huang, Fu Wei, Kangkang Zha, Zhiqiang Sun, Xiang Sui, Shuyun Liu, Weimin Guo, Quanyi Guo, “Research Progress on Stem Cell Therapies for Articular Cartilage Regeneration”, Stem Cells International, vol. 2021, Article ID 8882505, 25 pages, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/8882505.