A group of researchers investigated the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cells for several age-related neurodegenerative disorders. The team implanted the stem cells in a group of 14 patients aged between 30 and 75, including four subjects who had completely gray hair. During their investigation, they made an unusual discovery. After six weeks of stem cell implantation, the reversal of graying hair was observed for both scalp and beard hair.
In a recently published article, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center [DKFZ] have detailed the risks of stress-induced stem cell activation to cause DNA damage. Stressful events within the body drive adult stem cells into high energy states of rapid cell division and DNA synthesis to produce blood or repair damaged tissue. But since the transition from dormancy to executing these complicated functions is so abrupt, DNA is more likely to be damaged, resulting in cell death or harmful mutations.
Researchers from the Institute for Ophthalmology at the University College of London report on a significant advancement in stem cell therapy that can potentially lead to new treatments for blindness. Adult stem cells were manipulated into rod cells and then injected into blind animal models, partially restoring the vision of the animals.
Doctors from pain clinics across the country, such as the Arizona Pain Stem Cell Institute, are now offering stem cell therapies to patients suffering from plantar fasciitis. The new treatment involves injections of bone-derived stem cells to reduce inflammation and regenerate damaged tissue in the plantar fascia.
The Ninth Annual Stem Cell Summit will take place on February 18th in New York City. The summit will feature presentations from the stem cell industry’s premier researchers, executives, and investors to address recent advances and this year’s expectations of the Stem Cell / Regenerative Medical industry.
Collaborating reseachers from the Department of Ophthalmology at the Bonn University Hospital and the Neural Stem Cell Institute in New York have successfully replaced damaged cells in eyes impaired by Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) with human stem cells. This implantation technique, conducted in an animal study is the first of its kind and represents a significant advance in developing personalized treatments for patients suffering from a variety of age-related visual impairment issues.
A recent study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has proven that stem cell transplants in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients were equally successful for patients age 71-74 as it was for patients age 60-65. According to Dr. Gregory Abel, an oncologist at Dana-Farber, “This is good evidence that age alone should not limit who should get a [stem cell] transplant for MDS.”
Cartilage injuries can range from small lesions, such as those of athletes, to chronic injuries, such as cartilage degradation. Cartilage injuries, which are difficult to repair and have limited options for surgery, and usually results in a drastic affect on quality of life of afflicted individuals. In addition, the health, number and vitality of cartilage cells diminish with age.
Researchers at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) and the University of Toronto find that a fusion of combined growth factors with older stem cells can cause them to function like younger cells. Enhanced techniques for the regeneration/proliferation of stem cells, as demonstrated in the IBBME research, will likely accelerate the development of autologous stem cell treatments, which we believe are emerging as the gold standard of regenerative treatments. The ability to successfully culture the patient’s own stem cells in vitro [outside the body] to clinically relevant numbers and then transplant them back into the patient represents a significant milestone in fostering the widespread application of stem cell treatments.
Custom-ordered organs and tissue?
It might be tempting to shrug this off as science fiction, but researchers from a dozen major universities and corporate laboratories, including Cornell University and Wake Forest University, have been conducting extensive research on how to implement this in the future.