Can Stem Cells Deliver Relief from Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is an ailment that involves the degradation of the cushioning tissues between joints. The resultant bone-to-bone contact can cause serious pain and a reduction in mobility. Today, osteoarthritis affects around 30 million Americans, and the prevalence of the disease is highest among the elderly.
Osteoarthritis (OA) can afflict any joint, but it’s particularly common in the knees. There’s increasing evidence to suggest that stem cell therapy is an effective tool in the fight against OA. This article explores that evidence in detail.
Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis Research
There are a few traditional medications on the market for the treatment of OA. And some patients respond well to lifestyle and dietary changes. But as the condition progresses, the efficacy of these treatments wanes. And there usually comes a point when replacement of the joint is unavoidable.
Fortunately, there’s some positive news about the relationship between stem cell therapy and the alleviation of osteoarthritis. According to research conducted at Krembil Research Institute, the use of mesenchymal stem cells developed inside bone, cartilage, and muscle cells is delivering favorable results. In some cases, these stem cells are being used to replace or regenerate knee cartilage tissue.
Researchers took bone marrow stem cells from 12 subjects. The participants were then given the first of three stem cell doses, and the results were monitored over the following year. The researchers checked for signs of inflammation in the knee joints of subjects with regular MRI scans. And regular consultations with the participants uncovered any anecdotal information regarding pain, discomfort, and immobility.
At the end of the 12-month assessment period, all the participants reported a reduction in pain and inflammation. And a significant rise in quality of life was enjoyed by everyone. Thankfully, no one experienced side effects as a result of the stem cell transplants.
Crucially, the test subjects who received the highest dose enjoyed the most favorable outcomes. This group reported the largest reductions in inflammation. And because the inflammation was reduced, so was the pain.
This study demonstrates the potential anti-inflammatory effects of stem cell therapy when it’s used as an osteoarthritis therapy. And while this particular research project was limited in its scale, it makes larger, more comprehensive studies viable. After all, this isn’t the first evidence of a relationship between regenerative medicine and OA relief.
In 2015, a much larger study revealed that stem cell implantation is a less invasive and effective alternative to surgery. And another research project in 2016 reached the same conclusions.
One thing is for sure: the initial findings are cause for optimism. And while further research is needed, the potential benefits of stem cell research in the fight against osteoarthritis are significant. To find out more about this alternative OS therapy, call the specialists at Cendant today.
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