Ryan Tannehill, quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, avoided invasive ACL repair with a stem cell treatment. A common injury among athletes, ACL tears require surgery and long months of recovery and physical therapy to restore normal mobility and function in the knee. Tannehill was able to avoid this arduous process in favor of a stem cell treatment, and although he is required to wear a brace, he does not display limited mobility typically associated with this injury.
A team at Texas A&M University’s College of Medicine has been working on a treatment to address the side effects of epileptic seizures utilizing vesicles from stem cells. The most significant side effect of seizures is inflammation in the brain, which anti-seizure drugs do not typically treat. The vesicles, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, are separated and recovered from mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] and delivered via a nasal spray to promote rapid delivery to the brain. Separating the vesicles from their stem cells allows them to penetrate barriers not permeable by the whole stem cell, thereby increasing their efficacy in limiting damage caused by inflammation.
Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center are developing a stem cell treatment that can be utilized to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) in children. By taking a new approach to make the right side of the heart stronger instead of replacing the damaged left side, researchers hope to engender a more permanent fix. The procedure would represent a significant advancement over current HLHS treatments; which include heart transplants and reconstructive procedures that only provide temporary relief.
Doctors Mark Foglietti and Michael Kellis of the Ohio Stem Cell Treatment Center are developing a treatment utilizing autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells to treat Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative disease that effects people who have been subjected to repeated blows to the head – such as NFL players – especially those whom experienced multiple concussions.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine are utilizing mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to develop a treatment for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). MSCs possess valuable properties that make them particularly suitable for potential treatments – chief amongst them are; their plasticity [ability to differentiate into a particular tissue type], their anti-inflammatory capabilities and, their immunomodulatory properties. Currently, there are five Phase 1 clinical trials registered utilizing MSCs to treat IPF.
A published report in Surgical Technology International cites the benefits of using autologous [the patient’s own] mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] to effectively treat degenerative disc disease (DDD). The study also found that the use of stem cells to augment spinal fusion surgery demonstrated an efficacy that met the gold standard for iliac crest bone graft in posterolateral fusion models.
Author Kali Sakai, reports on banking stem cells from teeth in Parent Map. The daughter of a dentist, Sakai learned about teeth, however she was unaware of the stem cells inside teeth. As Sakai states, “It blew my mind to think that my child’s baby tooth could hold the key to a life-saving treatment in her adulthood”.
Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease affecting the neuronal striatum and thus motor and behavioral control. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an exciting avenue of research for Huntington’s because it has been shown to prevent neuronal death and stimulate the growth of brain cells. Additionally, Huntington’s post mortem brains indicate low concentrations of BDNF. For the first time, scientists have engineered mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs) as delivery agents for BDNF.
The UC Davis team isolated MSCs and engineered them to secrete elevated amounts of BDNF. The stem cells were then injected into immunosuppressed animal models, who were monitored for behavioral differences. The group treated with MSCs demonstrated less degeneration in the striatum, increased neuron growth activity, and an extended lifespan of 15 percent.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy has demonstrated yet another application in repairing tissue damage. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) greatly improved urinary continence and erectile function after radical prostatectomy (RP) in animal studies. These conditions are common side effects of surgical treatment for human prostate cancer.
Physicians at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System have developed a novel stem cell transplantation technique aimed at curing adults with sickle-cell anemia. Donor cells from a tissue-matched donor are transfused into the patient, producing healthy new blood cells and eliminating symptoms.