03 Dec Could Amniotic Stem Cell Therapy Treat My Arthritis?
Wear and tear arthritis, we almost all know somebody who has suffered from it. It is so common that it is almost dismissed as a non-issue. Oh, it’s just a bit of arthritis your family doctor might say. However, for 10% of Americans over 60, it is a very real and constant pain. In Fact, the condition is chronic and unrelenting, typically becoming worse over the years. Many individuals may need hip or knee replacements to be able to walk properly. The field is clearly crying out for new and innovative treatments that reduce the pain and inflammation and get hard-working Americans back on their feet. At some specialist clinics in the US, this is exactly what is happening. Stem cells taken from the amniotic fluid are being used to help the healing process and reduce the burden of arthritis. But what’s the theory behind it and does it work?
What is amniotic stem cell therapy? How does it work?
Stem cells are effectively cells that can grow up to become anything they want to be. This is great because, in the human body, many tissues are unable to regenerate (eg the cartilage in your dodgy worn down knee!). Amniotic fluid is that stuff that surrounds baby in the womb. Often woman notices it when their waters break (this occurs when the sac containing baby and the amniotic fluid bursts, leaving the fluid to leak out of mom). Researchers noticed a number of years ago that this fluid had an incredibly high proportion of these special stem cells, which are rare in the normal adult human body. So amniotic stem cells are exactly that, stem cells taken from the fluid that can then be injected into your arthritic joints!
But why does that help? Why would inject the liquid around a baby help with a knee? It seems a bit funny when you first think about it but this fluid and these stem cells have some great properties.
- They have anti-inflammatory molecules that reduce inflammation (which causes the nerve endings to fire telling your brain your knee hurts! So less inflammation less pain!).
- They also have a ton of growth factors which just aren’t usually found in the joints at an older age. This can help the cartilage you do have left to regenerate.
- There is also some argument that the stem cells themselves may help tissue regeneration (also this is still just theory).
At some specialist centers across the US, these amniotic stem cells are being injected into arthritic joints. There are currently a number of studies going on that you can get involved in. The initial and anecdotal evidence is that they work well so if you or somebody you know is suffering from arthritis and is fed up with their current treatment, consider getting in contact with a specialist stem cell center today.