Alternative disease treatment
Diabetes stem cell treatment
Diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when the body is unable to regulate the sugar concentration in the blood; the concentration is regulated by insulin which is triggered by b-cells when there is an increase in blood glucose.
When patients suffer from diabetes, their b-cells are dysfunctional or are just not producing enough insulin. Diabetes is the number six leading cause of death in the US alone. It is linked to several medical conditions and increases the risk for diseases like heart disease, kidney disease, amputations, blindness and more.
Types of diabetes
1. Type 1 Diabetes is the result of a person’s immune system fighting and destroying the b-cells, it usually begins in the early stages of life and accounts for 10% of the total cases of diabetes. People with this type have to take insulin shots daily in order to survive.
2. Type 2 Diabetes results from b-cell performance decline and an increase in insulin resistance; this type is linked with genetic factors and obesity, hence this type can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle.
3. There is another type of diabetes that affects pregnant women, it is called Gestational Diabetes where the hormones released by the placenta to sustain the pregnancy, make the pregnant woman’s cells more resistant to insulin. Once the pancreas is unable to overcome the resistance, the patient develops diabetes.
What causes diabetes?
It is not known exactly why the body immune system fights the b-cells and it causes Type 1 diabetes. It´s assumed that this could have been caused by genetic vulnerability and certain environmental factors but there is no absolute clear reason why this happens.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the cells resist insulin action and the insulin produced is not enough to overcome this resistance, the reason behind this resistance is also unknown but it is strongly assumed that obesity is directly linked to this type of diabetes. Risk factors for diabetes Type 1.
Diabetes stem cell treatment
Over the years, there have been attempts to cure diabetes by using methods like replacing b-cells through transplants, by increasing b-cell replication, by reducing the death of b-cells and by deriving new b-cells from other cells.
In the early 90’s, Washington University Medical Center reported the success of the first transplant of the pancreatic islet tissue from a donor in a person ailing from Type 1 diabetes. By the end of the twentieth century, many other transplants using different processes had been reported but there were challenges like the lack of appropriate donor tissue and use of immune-suppressive drugs to prevent rejection of the transplant.
With these challenges, the exploration of stem cells as a viable treatment became more intense.
Theoretically, stem cells can be used to treat Type 1 diabetes by inducing them to be b-cells in the lab, and then introducing them to the body where they would repair the damaged tissue and help maintain enough b-cell mass.
This therapy would be beneficial; however destructive cells would still be present to fight the new cells. In theory, the same therapy can be used to treat patients with Type 2 diabetes by replacing the failing b-cells.
At this point, diabetes stem cell treatment alleviates the conditions and symptoms for patients, improving their overall quality of life, though it is not yet considered a complete cure to this disease.
Results achieved with stem cell therapy
• Significant decrease in fasting blood sugars and the level of Hemoglobin A1C
• Significant decrease in Triglyceride levels
• Measurable improvement in kidney function with a decrease in creatinine levels
Additional benefits include:
1. An improved capacity for physical activities
2. An increased feeling of vitality with improved energy levels
3. A reduced risk of complications
4. Loss of neuropathy (numbness)
5. Loss of pruritus (itchy skin)
6. Loss of Nocturia (having to wake up from sleep to urinate)
7. An increased libido
(ii) Neurodegenerative diseases
Stem cells are endowed with the capability of developing into various cell types in our system. They can replenish the other cells so long as the individual lives by dividing without any limit and functioning as the body’s repair system. Once any stem cell divides, every new cell can either stay as a stem cell or turn into another cell type having a more specific functionality like a brain cell or a muscle cell.
It is possible for the stem cells to be the individual’s own cells or that of a donor. While using the own stem cells of an individual, they are usually collected prior to radiation therapy or chemotherapy since stem cells can get damaged by these treatments. Once the treatment is over, these cells are injected back into the system.
The most typical cause of dementia happens to be Alzheimer’s disease. An individual affected by this condition will show indications of loss of memory or even struggling to find the correct words. With the passage of time, indications such as the mood swings or confusion can develop which can become progressively severe. We are still not certain regarding the exact cause of this particular condition; however, it has been found by researchers that people affected by this condition tend to have an abnormal buildup of particular proteins in the brain.
Eventually “plaques” are formed by one of those proteins known as amyloid beta. MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells), ASCs (Adipose-derived stem cells) separated from adipose tissue, are reputed for their ability to differentiate into multiple tissues having immune modulatory attributes just like that of MSCs from some other origin. Neurological treatments for Alzheimer´s disease patients vary depending on the patient´s specific needs and requirements.
PD or Parkinson’s disease indicates the malfunction as well the death of the nerve cells in our brain which are known as neurons. These neurons are affected by the ailment in a particular region of our brain which is referred to as the substantia nigra. A chemical substance known as dopamine is produced by several of these dying neurons which transmit messages to the part of our brain which controls coordination as well as movement. Eventually, the production of this chemical decreases in our brain as the disease progresses and consequently the individual is not able to control his or her movements.
At present stem cell treatment has been considered for targeting these neurons which will assist in the creation of fresh neurons that can produce dopamine. On top of this, it is possible for the stem cells to release cytokines which happen to be natural chemicals and which can bring about differentiation of the stem cells into neurons which will produce dopamine. Neurological treatments for Parkinson´s disease patients vary depending on the patient´s specific needs and requirements.
How MSCs helps?
Stem cells have the capacity to proliferate and differentiate into multiple cellular lineages. There are different classifications of stem cells that reflect the range of possible cell types they can produce and the ways in which the stem cells are derived.
Current treatment options for AD are centered on regulating neurotransmitter activity. Enhancing cholinergic function improves AD behavioral and cognitive defects. Targeting the cholinergic system using stem cell therapies may provide environmental enrichment. Neurogenesis in the hippocampus decreases as we age and is exacerbated in AD; therefore, cellular therapies that enhance neurogenesis or replace lost neurons may also delay the progression of AD. Enhancing BDNF
levels, which are decreased with age and in AD, promotes neurogenesis and protects neuronal function.
Cellular approaches for PD focus on the replacement of lost DA neurons. Initial cellular therapies for PD utilized fetal ventral midbrain tissue as a
source of DA neurons. Clinical trials have had varying degrees of success, but they supported cellular therapies for a potential functional benefit in PD. Studies in patients with PD after intrastriatal transplantation of human fetal mesencephalic tissue, rich in postmitotic dopaminergic neurons, have provided proof of principle that neuronal replacement can work in the human brain. The grafted neurons survive and reinnervate the striatum for as long as 10 years despite an ongoing disease process, which destroys the patient’s own dopaminergic neurons.
(iii) Kidney disorder
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Kidney Disease
Chronic Renal Failure (CRF) is a progressive non-reversible process that produces damage to the renal parenchyma with a variety of causes. The main symptoms are uremic toxins retention, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, renal anemia, disturbance with calcium and phosphate metabolism.
At present, the basic traditional therapy available to treat this condition is dialysis which just regulates blood volume, small solutes and toxins clearance, but doesn´t do reclamation of metabolic subtracts, glutathione synthesis, free radical scavenging enzymes, gluconeogenesis, ammonianeogenesis, peptide and growth hormone catabolism, production of multiple cytokines.
These are Important in inflammation and immunity as well as transplants, and they will have various complications, such as donor shortage and side effects of immuno-suppressive agents.
Kidney stem cell therapy is an alternative option available now with our medical center. Stem cells have very strong multiplication properties and differentiation proficiency along with paracrine effect and neo-angiogenesis which demonstrate superb application prospects on repairing kidney disease damage.
Mesenchymal cells have very strong plasticity, they can trans-differentiate into different kinds of tissue cells, plus they also trigger restoration of renal tissue injuries. The mesenchymal cells can trans-differentiate into renal cells and play an important role in the self-restoration and regeneration of nephrons, post renal disease.
MSCs improve histological and functional outcomes in various CRF model systems. In addition, MSCs can reprogram kidney cells by fusion and differentiation, and modulate neo-kidney transplantation in CRF.
How MSCs helps?
Over the past decade, advances in the field of regenerative medicine allowed development of cell therapies suitable for kidney repair. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are undifferentiated cells that possess immunomodulatory and tissue trophic properties and the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types. Studies of chronic renal failure have uncovered a unique potential of these cells for improving function and regenerating the damaged kidney.
Researchers investigating the therapeutic effects of MSCs in the kidney disease setting have suggested these cells may release proteins that can help kidney cells to grow, inhibit cell death and could encourage the kidney’s own stem cells to repair kidney damage.
Another type of stem cell that scientists are using in kidney research is the induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC). Induced pluripotent stem cells are made by reprogramming adult, specialised cells of the body to act like embryonic stem cells. They have the ability to develop into any cell or tissue in the body. Recently researchers have been able to use iPSCs to produce kidney cells in a very early stage of development. These very early kidney cells resemble cells found in the embryo that will turn into the cells that eventually make up the kidney in foetal development. These cells could have the potential to make the glomerulus and tubules, the building blocks of the nephron. However, a lot of research needs to be done before such cells can be used in patients to treat CKD.