In the course of a human life, whether due to illness, injury, or aging, tissues deteriorate, and organ function begins to decline. This process can be severely detrimental to an individual’s quality of life, and often, treatment can’t adequately address the dysfunction. Regenerative medicine is an exciting field that uses techniques like stem cell treatment and gene therapy to promote tissue regeneration, augmenting the body’s natural healing abilities to cure chronic ailments. Focusing on replacing non-functional or dead cells or repairing or regenerating tissues and organs, regenerative medicine shows great promise in restoring normal function to impaired organs.
Over the past two decades, treatments like stem cell transplants and tissue regeneration have rapidly grown in usage, with different types of stem cells employed in this pursuit. In the 1990s, for example, muscle cells were transplanted into scar tissue following a myocardial infarction, because this was hypothesized to restore cardiac function. Studies demonstrated that the implanted muscle cells replaced damaged tissue and helped return ventricular function to normal. However, muscle cells are limited in their capacity for engraftment.
Enter stem cells. Between 2001 and 2010, excitement grew over the idea of using stem cells in the way muscle cells had previously been used. Because stem cells are multipotent, which means they are capable of differentiating into specialized cell types, and self-renewing, the hypothesis, confirmed through animal studies, was that stem cells implanted into the heart with differentiate into heart cells, replacing the cells lost during the myocardial infarction. Clinical trials using bone marrow-derived stem cells, endothelial progenitor cells, and stem cells pulled from adipose tissue established the feasibility of stem cell therapy regeneration. However, clinical use was not as successful as the trials had led researchers to anticipate.
Why? One theory is that, because the stem cells were pulled from the patients’ bodies, and most of the patients were elderly, the stem cell regeneration was not as favorable as it could have been. Still, the efficacy of cell therapy is on par with the best medical therapies we have to date. What’s more, in the ensuing years new techniques for cell implantation have been developed, which should increase the benefits of this kind of treatment. The use of mesenchymal stem cells extracted from umbilical cord blood, in particular, shows great promise in treating various illnesses and injuries.
If you’d like to know more about 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 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.