The Pain and the Freedom: Curing Osteoarthritis with Stem Cells
Considering the increased evidences of osteoarthritis, and closed to almost 26.9 million just in US; maybe it’s the time to reframe the famous quote of Benjamin Franklin!
“Nothing is certain in this world except for the death, purchase taxes and…………………. Osteoarthritis!!!!!!!”
The CDC report has forecasted that by the end of the 2020, sovaldi sale 35-37 million people will be affected by the disability just in the cohort of 60-65 years old US adults. There are evidences of two reasons behind the increased burden of osteoarthritis, first is the increased incidence of populations’ ages and the second one is the obesity pandemic due to carefree urban lifestyle. The disease can contribute to major disability, loss of functions, enormous pain and significant cost management.
Osteoarthritis is defined to be the disease of complex etiology, which generally results because of disturbed coupling of degradation and synthesis of joint cartilages due to environmental as well as biological factors. The disability is accompanied with the morphological, biochemical, molecular changes of both bone cells and bone matrix that leads to the softening, fibrillation, ulceration and sclerosis. As far as the clinical evidences are concerned, the disease can be characterized by the joint pain, tenderness, loss of movements and inflammation.
Osteoarthritis is primarily an autoimmune disease of articular cartilages. Articular cartilages are known to be the highly functional connective tissues of the joints; mainly responsible for smooth lubrication of the joint surfaces with minimum frictional coefficient. The tissue being mainly devoid of blood vessels, nerves, etc. is only made up of collagen as the matrix material. However in the Osteoarthritic patients, the collagen has been degraded by their own immune system due to which the shock absorbing property of the cartilage is reduced to the great extent; leading to its poor function. The inflammation in the disease etiology is thought to be associated with structural damage as a result of high disease progression.
Current pharmacological treatments for the disease are mainly accompanied with the analgesic and steroidal anti inflammatory drugs which are often proved to be unsatisfactory due to lack of results and adverse side effects such as nausea, constipation as well as dizziness. In the case of overdoses the side effects can as well be extended up to respiratory suppressions. Additionally, with the advancements in the research, the classical concept of osteoarthritis as an inflammatory disease has been changed with the existence of the neuropathic components. As a result of which antidepressants and anticonvulsants are being prescribed for reducing the pain associated with it.
Stem cell treatments for Osteoarthritis
Accumulated data from the worldwide clinical trials is expressing a different approach in treating the degenerative diseases such as Osteoarthritis. Stem cells are the prime cells in the body which can be converted to different cells of different lineages if subjected to proper signalling. These stem cells are present in different sources of our body such as Adipose Tissue. These stem cells are proven to be expressing immunomodulatory properties, which can greatly benefit patients suffering from autoimmune diseases. Recent studies showed that these stem cells if stimulated with the patient’s own platelet rich plasma can fine tune body’s immune system. These stem cells can then be differentiated into Chondrocytes which can form cartilage.