heumatoid Arthritis (RA) is one of the most common autoimmune arthritis in the world today and almost 46 million people in the US are suffering from this medical condition. The good news is that with advancement in stem cell therapy, medical science has made a breakthrough for treatment of this autoimmune medical condition. Patients suffering from various symptoms of this medical condition can find relief and benefit in the long-term.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that affects joints primarily. It leads to swollen, warm, and painful joints with most people experiencing immense pain and stiffness in the joints. The pain and stiffness is most experienced in the hands and wrist although it can affect other parts of the human body as well. This medical condition can even lead to low red blood cell count, inflammation around the heart as well as lungs.
The severity of the medical condition makes it absolutely important for patients to take proper treatment and care. Rheumatoid Arthritis can occur in men and women in their middle ages and women are affected at least 2.5 times more frequently as compared to men. Currently, newly diagnosed patients of RA are treated using immune suppressive agents like methothrexate, steroids, gold, cyclosporine, and infliximab (Remicade) but now with stem cells therapy, this autoimmune condition can be treated much more effectively.
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by persistent inflammation of the synovial membrane or synovium or stratum synoviale of affected joints and severely affects the daily functioning of these joints due to fatigue and chronic pain.
What makes it a feared autoimmune medical condition is the fact that it is associated with increased mortality and morbidity.
Why stem cells therapy? Rheumatoid arthritis leads to deformed or damaged joints, which cannot be repaired. This is where stem cells therapy using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be used not only for bone regeneration but also as anti-inflammation. Research across the world indicates that the use of MSCs in stem cells therapy can be quite rewarding as:
Laboratory and clinical studies have revealed that regeneration of the damaged joints in patients suffering from Rheumatoid arthritis is very much possible by inducing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
Stem cell therapy for treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis works by using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Off late, the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been more focused towards cartilage tissue repair and regeneration.
There are two different approaches towards using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for cartilage repair and regeneration and they are:
In either approaches of stem cell therapy, mesenchymal stem cells don’t always work alone. There are several growth factors that play a vital role in making MSCs highly functional and effective. Some of the growth factors include insulin-like growth factors, platelet-derived growth factor, members of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) super-family, fibroblast growth factors, and Wnt proteins.
Among these growth factors, one of the most active and key factor is bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). Bone morphogenetic proteins or BMP is considered to be a group of growth factors that are often known as metabologens and cytokines. They are considered to be the most potent inducers that promote chondrogenesis (process of cartilage development) of MSCs. Bone morphogenetic proteins are hence considered integral to the stem cell therapy as their involvement in cartilage development can be a standalone process or in association with other growth factors that primarily aid in enhancing chondrogenic differentiation of MSC stem cells.
Yes, the stem cells therapy using mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) has been tried and tested in laboratory trials and treatments. There are still several studies being carried out on stem cell therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis to better understand the efficacy in improving autoimmune complications in RA patients. This doesn't mean that it is still in the research and development stage, it is definitely an option for patients especially those that don't respond very well to the standard drug treatments.
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