Research advancements in stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine have shown immense promise in the treatment of complicated degenerative diseases like arthritis, MND, and neurological disorder. Reports have shown that stem cells can differentiate into neurons and therefore might be a great candidate for reversing conditions of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Let us briefly discuss some neurological disorders that have been treated using stem cell therapy to yield positive results.
Cerebral palsy is an infant disorder caused by brain damage during pregnancy, delivery, or shortly after birth. The damage is mostly accompanied by symptoms of seizures, speaking difficulty, blindness, deafness, mental retardation, and motor coordination difficulties. Stem cells have the ability to repair brain tissues besides rejuvenating the damaged tissue environment and several studies in animal models have shown significant improvement of ischemic and traumatic brain injuries like palsy conditions by stem cell therapy. Therefore, translating these experiments and appropriate studies on the human conditions of the palsy is the best way to cement the approach of regenerative medicine for cerebral palsy treatment.
Alzheimer’s disease is a complex gradually progressive neural degeneration disorder that leads to the loss of brain cells that control thought, memory, and language. This disease was described by Dr. Alzheimer who discovered the formation of amyloid and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment regime to regenerate healthy brain cells and neurons to retain memory and brain functioning. In animal studies, research has found that bone marrow-derived human stem cells, processed with bromodeoxyuridine, can differentiate into brain cells after being implanted in adult rat brains. Neural stem cell grafts also present a potential strategy for many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s Disease treatment, as these cells of the graft can migrate to the damaged brain areas and form the required type of cells, thus supporting regeneration and rejuvenation.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects body movement with symptoms of tremors, loss of balance, dementia, and stiffness. In the case of Parkinson’s, researchers have reported that the processing of stem cells to differentiate into dopamine-producing neurons has helped in Parkinson’s disease treatment with a reduction in tremors and muscle rigidity. Other cell therapies include fetal-derived neural stem cells that can regulate other stress factors like oxidative stress affecting the severity of the disease. Moreover, stem cell therapy has also been shown to reduce the levels of alpha-synuclein, which is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Other related neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and ALS have also seen a fair share of stem cell therapy-based positive effects with a significant reduction in the disease symptoms. The potential of stem cells to differentiate into different body cell lineages is the key to such amazing therapeutic possibilities for the neurological disorders which have been devoid of any cure to date. Advancements in the field of Stem Cell Research research have further improved the processing and differentiation ability of these cells according to the requirement of the tissue healing environment in case of complex disorders like neurological disorder and neuromuscular disorders in our body.
Although this stem cell potential almost plunges the medical healthcare services into a golden future of possible therapeutic cure of several other chronic diseases, the fact remains that related ethical and clinical challenges are daunting. On that note, although stem cell therapy has been emerging as a popular alternative therapeutic approach, several people are not well aware of the treatment and its limitations.