Currently, media and TV channels have been the melting pots of expectations, hope, responsibility, and idealism; and are over inflating the representation of stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy is being hyped everywhere as the most appropriate treatment module for any kind of therapeutic indication, may it be a common cold or a brain stroke! With this backdrop, people with incurable conditions are looking at stem cell treatment with lot of hope.
Undoubtedly, stem cell therapy is the current most suitable, natural treatment module for various types of degenerative diseases. However, it is very important to identify that stem cells are body’s natural healing elements and are being used as a therapeutic solution to fix up issues like arthritis, neurodegenerative disorders, metabolic disorders, etc; but the extent of effective treatment outcome, depends upon lot of other factors like age of the patient, severity of the disease, for how long the patient is being suffering with the said disease, etc. Scientists are trying to explore various genetic as well as environmental links associated with therapeutic outcome of stem cells; and have been able to figure out so far that they are the most efficient cells of our body, which can produce number of other cells, when directed through proper signaling pathways and guiding other cells to achieve specified targets.
In this regard, many patients rightfully ask the question as to how long do it take stem cell therapy to work? The evidences show that the time required to see visible improvements in patients post stem cell therapy is variable, depending upon the internal mechanism and external support; although stem cell therapy is to be seen as a long term solution, instead of short term key. Clinical studies have indicated that patients have noted signs of improvements during the interval of 3 months to 2 years! But it should be emphasized that no patient so far has reported any side effects or signs of disease progression, post stem cell therapy!
Although, it is very good to see faster improvements in patients; the stem cell therapy may have mixed impacts on patients and it is important to understand why? Through extensive clinical research and data analysis, scientists are able to correlate association between below mentioned factors on treatment outcome.
Age of the patient
Various conflicting studies have been proposed to show impact of age on patient’s treatment outcome. Studies have indicated profound decline in stem cell functions in older animals, and fewer resident adult stem cells.
What do you understand by microenvironment? Imagine you have seeded a plant in your private garden. You are expecting it to grow within a period of two weeks, as according to you, you bought a very good quality sapling. However, you are assuming here that other parameters are appropriate like soil quality, water, sunlight, etc. These conditions are local environment, and they have to support the growth and sustenance of that sapling! The same theory is applicable to stem cell as well. Our body acts as a microenvironment for stem cells growth and support; and various factors like poor blood supply, acidic condition, biomechanical pressure, etc. can reduce their functional attributes; and thus have to be taken into consideration.
Studies have reported that certain medications if consumed along with stem cell therapy can make their in vivo expansion more difficult. It is very important to council patient, understand his physical need and then prescribe medications that should go with stem cell therapy.
It has been generally observed that patients who are physically active undergo better secretion of growth factors that support growth and expansion of stem cells.
Trends, when analyzed have revealed that patients with severe disease recover slowly as compared to patient with early symptoms.
Thus, stem cell therapy is undoubtedly the best available therapeutic solution for various degenerative conditions that had no treatment options using conventional medicine; but scientists will be able to control the variables specified herewith in couple of years.