Adult stem cell treatments are a recent and burgeoning avenue of restorative medicine, and at Personalized Regenerative Medicine, the idea that the scientific community is just beginning to realize the restorative power of stem cells for the treatment of chronic and degenerative diseases makes us very enthusiastic. Stem cells are present in the body to help with tissue development and regeneration; the idea of this treatment is to take stem cells from healthy tissue, and to transfer them over to tissue that has been damaged by disease and/or injury. However, this is just a cursory overlook. To have a thorough understanding of how stem cell therapy could benefit the individual and society as a whole, a person must first have a knowledge of how it works.
If you’re intrigued by the possibilities of adult stem cell treatments, don’t hesitate to contact us in San Clemente with whatever questions you may have.
A stem cell is an undifferentiated type of cell that has to ability to specialize when the body has need of new cells. Stem cells are responsible for much of the development of the fetus as it gestates inside the womb, and they help with tissue repair once the body has been fully developed. Adult stem cell treatments focus on taking these undifferentiated cell and infusing into areas in need of healing. Since we all started out as a single stem cell—the zygote—stem cells, in theory, have the ability to restore the function of any group of cells within the body. In addition to having the potential to replicate the function of numerous types of cells, adult stem cells have the ability to divide indefinitely. If research into stem cell therapy continues to go well, there may come a time when organ transplants become obsolete. Certain stem cells are able to replicate the function of any cell, and all of them are able to divide as much as they need to. Maybe one day, entire organs could be grown from stem cells. People with damaged organs could receive healthy ones without another person having to volunteer to give up their own. If the power of stem cell therapy becomes fully harnessed in the future, blood donations might become unnecessary. Blood is composed of many different types of cells, and if certain stem cells are capable of replicating the functions of any type of cell, there could be a day where entire blood banks are filled from a single stem cell.
Stem cells can be found in every part of the body, but over the years, practitioners of stem cell therapy have found certain parts to be easier to harvest from. Stem cells are typically drawn from discarded umbilical cords and from bone marrow. These two places are preferred because they are great sources of the “certain” type of stem cell that was mentioned in the previous section; they both provide great yields of multipotent stem cells. Multipotent stem cells are the stem cells capable of replicating the function of numerous types of cells.
Stem cells are typically delivered through a blood infusion process, using stem cells from the patient or from a donor. The fluid containing the stem cells is transferred to the body using a catheter, which is a thin plastic tube. The area where the cells are injected will differ depending on the treatment, but most typically, the catheter will be inserted somewhere inside the chest.
Skeptics of adult stem cell treatments say that too many stem cells are destroyed upon transfer to make a real difference in the place that they are injected into. Our argument against this is that there more factors that go into tissue regeneration than the quantity of cells present in the damaged area. Mesenchymal Stem Cells, the ones that can be drawn from the bone marrow and umbilical cord, have an excellent capacity for paracrine signaling. Paracrine signaling is when a cell signals other cells to alter their behavior to meet a certain biological need, which can include the repair of bodily tissue. Paracrine signaling has been shown to be one of the main catalysts of tissue regeneration within the heart and other parts of the body. The great thing about paracrine signaling is that it can occur regardless of whether the cell dies as it is infused or whether it manages to survive.
Since the conception of adult stem cell treatments, there have been numerous stories of success. There have been stories about stem cell treatments improving the symptoms of many conditions, some these include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Damage to the Cornea
- Nerve Damage
- Torn Muscles
- Damage to the Spinal Cord
Many types of treatments that are meant to treat some of the same conditions as adult stem cell treatments carry risks that stem cell transfers do not. For example, treatments based on radiation, such as chemotherapy, carry the risk of damaging healthy stem cells and limiting the body’s ability to heal after the treatment has been completed. Surgical treatments are generally much more invasive than adult stem cell treatments, can carry the risk of damaging healthy tissue, and also typically require lengthy recovery time that adult stem cell treatments do not. Adult stem cell treatments work in a fundamentally different way than most popular forms of treatments, and by consequence, avoid many of the risks that these other treatments carry.
Adult stem cell treatments have been shown to be efficient on patients of differing ages and backgrounds, but we’ll need you to schedule a consultation with us to make sure of your own candidacy. During this consultation, you’ll sit down with one of our practitioners to discuss your medical history, current state of health, and what you wish to treat. If the practitioner performing your consultation finds that you are capable of receiving adult stem cell treatments, they’ll then go over the preparations you should make for receiving the treatment.
Adult stem cell treatments have helped many patients throughout their conception and we hope that they can do the same for you. Contact us in San Clemente and find out firsthand about this innovative form of medicine.