Stem cell therapy is an innovative and effective method of treatment for various ailments. There’s some confusion and no small amount of controversy surrounding stem cells, because most people think first of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). The harvesting of ESCs raises all manner of ethical concerns, but for stem cell therapy, those aren’t the cells that are used. Instead, this treatment uses mesenchymal stem cells. What are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)? Are mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) really stem cells?
Also known as medicinal signaling cells, MSCs are adult stem cells, rather than embryonic. There are a number of sources for MSCs, and the source dictates the effectiveness of the stem cells. So, where are mesenchymal stem cells sourced? Scientists are continually finding new sources, including endometrial tissue, but some of the primary places they’re sourced from include bone marrow, adipose tissue (fat), and umbilical cord tissue. MSCs, also called stromal stem cells, are multipotent, self-renewable cells. Multipotent means they can differentiate into more than one type of specialized cell. So far, we know that MSCs can specialize into cartilage cells, fat cells, neural cells, muscle cells, skin cells, corneal cells, and bone cells. Some early research seemed to indicate that they could also differentiate into nerve cells, heart muscle cells, liver cells, and endothelial cells, but this hasn’t been confirmed by further studies. The study of stem cells is ongoing and holds great potential for the future of medicine, but the research is also slow-going and sometimes frustrating. However exciting the potential may be, working with stem cells can be challenging.
What are the challenges with mesenchymal stem cells? For one thing, they age as we age, becoming less effective as time goes on. Therefore, taking stem cells from a person’s adipose tissue, for instance, might not be a very efficient way to treat an illness. On the other hand, MSCs from umbilical cords are new and extremely potent. Using stem cells from donated cord tissue, the medical community has had significant success supplementing patients’ stem cell count and promoting healing. Part of their effectiveness comes from the fact that MSCs are immunoprivileged, meaning they can avoid a negative response from the immune system of the body into which they’re transplanted. They have the ability to treat a wide range of conditions, and while they don’t provide a cure, they do support the body’s efforts to heal itself and mitigate symptoms.
If you’re interested in learning more about the possibilities inherent in stem cell therapy, contact Oregon Medical Centers. Founded in 1989 as First Choice Chiropractic, Oregon Medical Centers was established in 2018 after adding Medical Providers and becoming an integrated medical facility. Specialists in treating car accident and workplace injuries, we also treat conditions like sciatica, pinched nerves, TMJ, neck pain and back pain, headaches, joint pain, and much more. We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and regenerative medicine, and we specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Our dedicated medical team provides high-level care and compassion for patients in a collaborative environment where patients get the best possible treatment. What’s more, our insurance department assists in the insurance process, to alleviate stress for patients and allow them to focus on getting better. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, or contact us through our website.Schedule an Appointment