Rheumatoid arthritis affects millions of people around the world. It is a chronic autoimmune condition that is characterized by painful inflammation in the joints. Gradually, as the condition advances, the patient experiences joint damage and disability. With a decreased quality of life, it is natural that the patient feels dejected and low. While medications and physical therapy have been the primary approach of neurologists thus far, managing rheumatoid arthritis and giving the patient a better quality of life has led emerging therapies like stem cell therapy to become increasingly popular.
In this blog, we will explore the scope of stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis in India, with a special focus on mesenchymal stem cell therapy, stem cell transplants, and the latest advances in terms of research and patient experiences.
Understanding rheumatoid arthritis
As mentioned above rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, which causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack its tissues. RA primarily affects the synovium, the lining of the membranes surrounding the joints. Its symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and eventually, joint damage. Rheumatoid arthritis patients can also experience systemic symptoms, such as:
- Drastic weight loss
- Respiratory challenges
- Cardiovascular issues
RA is also known to increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Traditional treatments of rheumatoid arthritis
The traditional management of RA involves a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. Some of the most common medications are listed below:
- Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) help slow down the progression of RA.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) provide relief from pain and reduce inflammation.
- Corticosteroids reduce inflammation and provide relief from pain.
- Biologic DMARDs target specific features of the immune system.
While these treatments can help manage RA systems, it is important to bear in mind that they can have side-effects and their efficacy can differ from patient to patient.
Stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis
In the last couple of decades, stem cell therapy has come to be regarded as a promising avenue for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Stem cells are undifferentiated (progenitor) cells that possess the unique ability to differentiate (transform) into different types of cells in the body. Stem cell therapy is a type of regenerative medicine that helps repair damaged tissues, and modulate the immune system in autoimmune conditions like RA.
At Plexus, we use mesenchymal stem cell therapy to repair damaged tissue, reduce pain, and improve mobility.
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis
In 2020, a study was published in the journal titled “Stem Cells Translational Medicine” amply illustrated how the intravenous administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can reduce inflammation and stall disease activity in patients with RA. Conducted in India, this study helped prove the potential of MSC therapy as a veritable treatment option for autoimmune conditions like RA.
Stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis at Plexus
India’s no. 1 regenerative rehabilitation centre, Plexus, offers a customised and holistic approach to managing rheumatoid arthritis. We use autologous mesenchymal cells that are procured from the patient’s body to suppress inflammation and mediate immunomodulation.
Isolated from various sources, such as adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow, and umbilical cord tissue, MSCs have the following key properties that make them promising for treating RA:
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects: MSCs have the potential to produce anti-inflammatory molecules that help reduce localised inflammation in the joints.
- Immunomodulation: MSCs can regulate the immune system by suppressing inflammatory responses that damage the joints.
- Tissue Regeneration: MSCs can differentiate into various cell types, such as bone and cartilage cells, thereby aiding in repairing damaged tissues (in the joints).
- Low Risk of Immune Rejection: MSCs are generally well-tolerated by the immune system.
We also offer physical therapy, occupational therapy, pain management, fall prevention training, emotional counseling, caregiver support, and other therapies to help you live a full and pain-free life.
The potential benefits of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for rheumatoid arthritis are manifold and long-lasting. So, if you or your loved one is suffering from this debilitating condition, please know that we will be with you every step of the way.
Together we can fight rheumatoid arthritis.
How do stem cells help rheumatoid arthritis?
Injected mesenchymal stem cells help with tissue repair and regeneration, suppress inflammation by secreting anti-inflammatory molecules, and boost the immune system to function correctly. Stem cells can help reduce joint pain and greatly improve the quality of life of those with rheumatoid arthritis.
What is the newest treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
Mesenchymal stem cell therapy is the most advanced treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
What is the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
Stem cell therapy using mesenchymal stem cells is regarded as the best treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
What is a normal CRP level in rheumatoid arthritis?
High levels of CRP can be indicative of inflammation in the body. With further tests, doctors may be able to arrive at a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.