FIND RELIEF FROM YOUR CHRONIC CONDITION.
An autoimmune condition develops when your immune system, which is designed to defend your body against disease, mistakenly attacks your own body's healthy cells and tissue. There are as many as eighty different types of autoimmune diseases. In many cases, the autoimmune process can affect one or several different types of body tissue, creating major bodily dysfunction. It is also common to have more that one autoimmune condition at the same time. Because there is no current cure, conventional treatment for autoimmune conditions focuses on relieving symptoms by using potent, but side effect laden, immunosuppressive drugs.
Studies have shown that mesenchymal stem cells can aid in healing damaged tissue as well as modify and restore the 'haywire' immune response, while preserving its ability to protect our body. Stem cells have also been shown to produce potent anti-inflammatory agents which reduce symptoms and the progression of the autoimmune process. Stem cells also help stimulate the production of T regulatory cells whose function is to protect the body from self attack.
Stem cell therapy has shown promising results for the following conditions:
Autoimmune hepatitis manifests when the liver is attacked by the body’s immune system, causing inflammation and eventually leading to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure. It often occurs in conjunction with other autoimmune conditions and can be life-threatening if not detected early. Common symptoms include fatigue, itching, abdominal distention, and loss of appetite.
Steroids are the standard treatment for autoimmune hepatitis. Mesenchymal stem cells demonstrate the ability to regulate the immune system by differentiating into T cells, or catalyzing T cell production. Stem cells may also reduce inflammation brought on by autoimmune hepatitis. Stem cells are deployed systemically rather than locally, and repeated procedures (all outpatient) may be required.
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune condition wherein the immune system attacks the hair follicles. Believed to be passed genetically, the condition manifests as small bald patches. The condition can affect the entire body (universalis) or just the head (totalis). The condition can worsen or improve spontaneously.
Typical treatment courses involve topical immunosuppressants and steroids. Research to assess the effect of mesenchymal stem cell therapy on Alopecia Areata is ongoing.
CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEMYELINATING POLYNEUROPATHY
CIDP is a disease of the nervous system closely related to Guillan-Barre Disease. An autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the nerve cells, patients experience weakness and loss of arm and leg sensation. Aggressive treatment with steroids and immunosuppressants is typically implemented to prevent irreparable loss of axons, without which the nerves can no longer communicate. Some cases of CIDP progress rapidly and become resistant to treatment.
The regenerative and immune-regulatory properties of stem cells show promise in alleviating the degenerative effects of CIDP by slowing the death of axons and possibly regrowing new ones.
Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms of Crohns are abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, and vomiting. The cause of Crohns is not fully understood. There seems to be a genetic component, but newer research shows the immune system may be attempting to attack harmless bacteria that normally reside in our intestinal tract. Immune cells travel out of the blood stream into the intestinal tract and cause an immune inflammatory response causing ulcerations and damage to the intestinal wall. Typical treatment involves antibiotics, narcotic pain medication, and immunosuppressive steroids. Stem cell therapy is frequently used to treat Crohns in Europe. Their use shows strong potential to calm the inflammatory response and reset the immune system.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a collection of autoimmune disorders resulting in fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and rash. Anti-inflammatory, immune-suppressant, even cytotoxic drugs are typically prescribed.
Stem cell therapy shows promise in alleviating lupus due to the anti-inflammatory and immune-regulatory properties of stem cells. The cells are deployed systemically, and several doses may be required.
Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the fatty myelin sheath that surround our nerve axons. This sheath is essential for proper functioning of nervous system signaling in the brain and spinal cord. As the myelin degrades, the central nervous system ceases to function properly, resulting in severe cognitive and physical impairment.
Mesenchymal stem cells have demonstrated the ability to differentiate into nerve cells, as well as cells that create the myelin sheath around axons. Studies have noted myelin regeneration after deployment of stem cells, and patients have shown recovery of lost motor function, lending promise to stem cell therapy as a treatment for MS. Stem cells also show anti-inflammatory and immune-regulatory properties that may also mitigate the progression of the disease.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to attack the joints, causing inflammation, pain, swelling, bone loss, and permanent deformity. The hands and wrists are most often affected, but other joints and organ systems can be impacted as well.
Stem cells may be able to repair damaged cartilage and joint tissue, as well as provide relief for inflammation and regulate the immune system respsonse with the creation of new T regulatory cells. Clinical trials have even shown the possibility of stable remission after stem cell treatment.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease that presents as long-term hardening of the skin as the immune system attacks healthy dermal tissue.
Mesenchymal stem cells show promise to restore skin elasticity due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative properties. These stem cells have the ability to reset the immune system by stimulating the production of T regulatory cells, which help regulate immune responses throughout the body.