Stem cell therapy, alternatively known as regenerative medicine, has shown incredible potential in recent years when it comes to treating neurological conditions. It helps in repairing or restoring function of diseased, dysfunctional, and/or injured tissue by injecting stem cells (or their derivatives).
Stem cell therapy also modulates the body’s immune system and helps in reducing inflammation. Often touted as being the next chapter in organ transplantation, stem cell therapy uses cells instead of donor organs, making it that much more accessible.
Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Center is India’s first ISO-certified center for regenerative rehabilitation. With more than a decade of clinical experience, we are India’s foremost authority on stem cell research.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are progenitor cells that can transform and/or multiply into specialized cells.
Through a laboratory procedure known as differentiation, stem cells procured from one part of the body can become/grow into other kinds of cells. Stem cells work to repair the body and generate healthy cells that can replace the cells damaged by disease.
Types of stem cells
Stem cells possess the ability to transform into different kinds of human cells. Through suitable application, stem cells can be turned into neurons to replace the ones lost or damaged, thereby restoring neural function to a point where the patient recovers enough mobility and function to live a more independent life.
There are two main types of stem cells – embryonic and adult stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs), or pluripotent stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass of an embryo in its early stages of development. These cells are usually grown in laboratory conditions.
Adult stem cells (ASCs) are undifferentiated cells procured from fully developed tissues like the brain, bone marrow, etc. These cells can differentiate into certain types of cells only. They also play an important role in maintaining the integrity of the tissue in which they are found. ASCs can be used for tissue repair and regenerative medicine.
ESCs are pluripotent cells, meaning they are unspecialized cells that do not have any specific characteristics like shape, or gene expression pattern. These cells can be differentiated into any cell type in the body.
ASCs on the other hand are multipotent cells. This means they have limited ability to differentiate into other types of cells.
There is a third type of stem cell known as Induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs). These cells have been genetically reprogrammed to exhibit the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. iPSCs are generated by introducing specific types of genes into adult cells. iPSCs can self-renew and also differentiate into any cell type in the body.
Since iPSCs are generated from the patient’s own cells, it significantly reduces the risk of immune rejection.
Mesenchymal adult stem cells
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells. They display anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, self-renewal, cell-division, signaling, and differentiation properties. They have the ability to divide and develop into many specialized cell types in specific organs and/or tissues. They can even become unique stem cell types and can create more stem cells when cultured in a laboratory. MSCs can replace cells that are diseased or damaged.
MSCs are sourced from different types of tissue, like adipose (fat) tissue, bone marrow, blood, dental pulp, umbilical cord tissue, liver, and skin.
Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation uses stem cells to treat motor neuron diseases, slowing the rate of degeneration caused by MND, Parkinson’s and other illnesses. This regenerative treatment is becoming more and more popular in the field of neurorehabilitation.
Types of stem cell therapy
Presently, there are two main types of stem cell therapy –
Autologous therapy : the patient is treated with cells procured from their own bone marrow, blood, or fat tissue
Allogeneic therapy : the patient is treated with cells from external donors
*At Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre, our patients have seen incredible results with our autologous stem cell therapy.
How long does it take for stem cell therapy to work?
In most cases, it is an out-patient procedure.
At Plexus, our stem cell procedure involves the following steps:
Step 1: Review the patient’s medical history
Step 2: Thorough physical examination of patient by a panel of stem cell consultants
Step 3: Patient’s eligibility for stem cell therapy is ascertained
Step 4: Stem cells are procured from the patient’s bone marrow; this procedure is performed under local anesthesia
Step 5: Collected stem cells are prepared sent to the laboratory for quality checks and isolated for further therapy
Step 6: Patient is discharged
Step 7: The isolated stem cells divide and form daughter cells which can either self-renew or turn into specialized cells like brain cells, bone cells, or heart muscle cells
Step 8: Depending on the stage of the disease, level of symptoms, and any other needs of the patient, the specialists will set a date for the stem cells to be injected into the patient’s body, targeting specific areas
Step 9: Further course of treatment is determined
Side-effects and repercussions
Stem cell therapy at Plexus is safe and risk-free because the autologous stem cells are drawn from the patient’s blood, bone marrow, or adipose tissue. They are progenitor cells that have the potential to multiply and transform into specialized cells, taking on the functions of the damaged cells by replacing them.
Neuroprotection is one of the primary objectives of regenerative treatments like stem cell therapy. Injected stem cells can also provide immunomodulation, secrete growth factors, and also produce supporting cells that can protect damaged motor neurons from further damage and degeneration. Some of these supporting cells include astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
Apart from safe and risk-free, stem cell therapy at Plexus offers the following benefits:
- Enhanced everyday functioning
- Improved quality of life
- Immune system modulation and reduction of inflammation
- Prevention of further nerve damage
- Speedy recovery post-procedure
- Non-surgical procedure
- Zero complications and side-effects
How are stem cells administered?
Stem cell therapy makes use of the self-renewal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, signaling, and differentiating characteristics of stem cells to bring about positive change within the body.
Stem cells can be administered in the following ways:
- Intrathecal (directly into the spinal canal)
- Inject into problem areas like hips, hands, knees, etc.
Research indicates that different methods of administration have different effects. At Plexus, our team of stem cell specialists will help you understand the right course of treatment depending on the type and severity of your condition.
India’s first ISO-certified stem cell research center
Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre uses autologous stem cells taken from the patient’s own body. The procedure is conducted by Dr. Sadiq, India’s no. 1 stem cell specialist, and his team of highly-skilled and experienced stem cell specialists.
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What is stem cell therapy good for?
Stem cell therapy helps in repairing or restoring function of diseased, dysfunctional, and/or injured tissue by injecting stem cells (or their derivatives).
How successful is stem cell therapy?
The success of stem cell therapy is subjective. In the recent decades, stem cell therapy has proved to be extremely beneficial to patients suffering from motor neuron diseases, children with cerebral palsy, and other neurological disorders.
Stem cell therapy offers patients a new lease on life while empowering them to manage their symptoms.
Is stem cell therapy risky?
No. Stem cell therapy is safe and absolutely risk-free.
Is stem cell therapy painful?
The only times the patient may feel any kind of discomfort during the procedure is when the cells are being procured from their own body, and when the cultured stem cells are injected into the body. The discomfort is nothing more than a pin-prick!
How long does stem cell therapy last?
Research indicates that injected stem cells will continue to repair the target area for up to 1 year. But this can differ from case to case, depending on the type and severity of the disorder/disease.
Where do you inject stem cells?
Stem cells may be injected through IV, into the spinal canal, or directly into the problem area.
How quickly do stem cells work?
Patients can notice changes immediately or within 2 to 12 weeks after the procedure. The response varies from patient to patient.
How many injections do you need for stem cell therapy?
Typically, the patient will receive a series of three stem cell injections in a period of 2 to 5 days. The number of injections largely depends on the patient’s condition and the symptom severity.