Sunday October 22, 2017

Stem cell therapy cures 24-year-old boy of Multiple Sclerosis

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Mumbai: Thanks to stem cell therapy a 24-year-old engineering student who was crippled due to Multiple Sclerosis has started to walk again.

Sushant Chavan was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in October 2011. Though he initiated medical treatment, Chavan’s condition deteriorated within two years and he lost his speech and even urinary control.

He was treated by Pradeep Mahajan, a city-based expert in stem cell therapy.

According to Mahajan, Chavan’s condition had deterioriated to such an extent that medicines were not making any positive effect due to the late diagnosis of the disease. Hence, he was given the stem cell therapy in different sessions with a proper time gap.

The therapy yielded the desired results.

(Inputs from IANS)

(Picture Courtesy: www.independent.co.uk)

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India tops in development of Stem cell treatment, also it can be a pathbreaking Therapy for Diabetes, Autism

Stem cell therapy has turned out to be a ray of hope for most patients who are trying to find a cure for incurable diseases

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Doctors operating on a patient (representational image), Pixabay

Jan 18, 2017: Stem cell therapy has turned out to be a ray of hope for most patients who are trying to find a cure for incurable diseases. Researchers and experts believe India has been at the top in the development of stem cell treatment followed by several other countries like China and Japan. However, due to lack of awareness, most people don’t think of stem cell therapy as an option for treating most of the incurable diseases.

One of the major issues that India is battling is increasing incidence of diabetes and autism. According to reports, more than 10 million children in India suffer from autism. About 1 to 1.5 per cent of such children are aged 2-9. Autism by far is a mental condition which is present from early childhood, characterised by great difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts, and also characterised by weakened social interface, weakened communication and indulging in repetitive behaviour.

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In the case of diabetes, it is one of the most talked-about diseases across the world and especially in India, but awareness on this is still low. Diabetes generally occurs due to failure or damage of the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas called Beta cells. Diabetes can be classified into 2 types: Type 1 (T1DM) and Type 2 (T2DM).

Stem cells are part of the human body and have the unique ability of naturally finding and repairing the place of damage within. Over the past two decades, it has been made possible to treat T1DM by transplanting islet cells or even whole pancreas from cadaveric donors (allogenic transplantation). Transplants can enable the body to regain control of blood sugar levels so that insulin injections are no longer needed.

Islet transplantations are not very common, because whole pancreas transplants involve major surgery and carry significant risk. Transplants require the immune system to be suppressed so that the new “alien” organ is not rejected. Immuno-suppressant drugs leave the recipient vulnerable to infections and often have side-effects. One of the biggest problems faced by islet transplantation is the lack of donors.

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This can be overcome by using patient’s own stem cells (autologous transplantation), bypassing all the complications, rejections and side-effects. Research has shown that stem cells present in the patient’s pancreas are able to make new Beta cells. Beta cell progenitors have been found in the pancreas of both rodents and humans; it may be possible to grow islet cells from patient’s existing islet cells. Alternately, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) treatment is also being explored. These can be sourced from the patient’s own adipose tissue (fat), umbilical cord, menstrual fluid, bone marrow and the like.

Clinical trials inserting MSCs into Type 1 diabetes patients take advantage of two properties of these cells. Firstly, they have the regenerative potential to repair Beta cells and, secondly, they can modulate the immune system by inhibiting the responses that lead to the auto-immune attack on pancreatic Beta cells. Since these stem cells come from the patient’s own body, there is also no risk of rejection or side-effects. MSCs may be injected intravenously or within the pancreas itself. This approach promotes Beta cell function, thereby reducing or eliminating the requirement for exogenous insulin.

The central government is also planning to curb the growing incidence of diabetes by stringent measures, including higher taxes and stricter advertisement norms to regulate sale of sugar-sweetened beverages and junk food.

Clinical trials are also under way for autism. Experts believe the umbilical cord stem cells are ideal for treating this because they allow doctors to administer uniform doses as they don’t require collection of stem cells from the patient considering it could be a laborious process for child and the parent. Because they are collected right after birth, umbilical cord-derived cells are much more potent than their “older” counterparts like bone marrow-derived cells.

With trials under way, stem cell therapy could be an effective solution in treating autism and Type 1 diabetes rather than harmful drugs. (IANS)

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Brain functions of patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis may be improved using video games

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Photo: www.itjustclicked.co.uk
Multiple sclerosis affects more than two million people worldwide. The degenerative autoimmune disorder attacks the central nervous system, specifically the insulating coating around nerve cells. In 50 percent of all MS patients, this leads to cognitive dysfunction, which may be caused by damage to the thalamus. Similar to an information hub, this area connects other areas…

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Embryonic stem-cell therapy can treat incurable conditions: Researcher Geeta Shroff

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By Nishant Arora

Fifteen years ago when scientists the world over were still trying to understand the health benefit of the human stem-cell technology, an Indian specialist in the field took a step that left many in the scientific community bemused.

In 2000, she developed two purely human embryonic stem cell lines from just one fertilized egg. The cell-based therapy has since helped many patients improve their quality of life and live a stress-free life.

“I have been working in this field for over 15 years. Of these, 13 years have been spent in clinical application also. As a doctor, it is very satisfying to see improvements in the condition of your patient. However, since cell-based therapy is a very new field, greater education of the masses is required,” Dr. Geeta Shroff, founder and director of Nutech Mediworld, told IANS in an interview.

She offers treatment to patients suffering from conditions that are currently labelled as incurable. At Nutech Mediworld in New Delhi, she says her team has successfully treated over 1,400 patients from India and abroad. She has also written about her research in international journals.

Shroff recently treated a 38-year-old woman who was getting bruises all over her body and suffered from excessive fatigue. She was diagnosed as suffering from aplastic anaemia with severe anaemia and severe thrombocytopenia – deficiency of platelets in the blood, which causes bleeding into the tissues, bruising and slow blood clotting after injury.

The diagnosis was devastating because the condition leads to fatality. She had already undergone multiple blood transfusions. She was prescribed steroids and was in line for anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) treatment which has low therapeutic safety and many side effects.

The inconvenience and stress of the blood transfusions, coupled with excessive fatigue, left her with little energy for anything else. Her platelet count continued to be less than 20,000.

“The patient heard about the cell-based therapy being offered by us and decided to undergo it. Today, she no longer requires blood transfusion and is leading a steroid-free life. Her CBC remains normal with Platelet count above 60,000. She no longer gets bruises easily,” Shroff said.

For the therapy, the two cell lines are derived from a single fertilized ovum obtained during a natural in vitro-fertilization (IVF) cycle with due consent.

Chromosomally stable cell lines free from contaminants are used.

“This technology does not require the administration of immunosuppressants. The ready to use form can be stored for more than six months and can be transported easily under temperature controlled conditions,” said the doctor.

The treatment is safe and effective and the results are not only replicable, but are also statistically significant, she said.

“As with all treatments, the cost of the therapy is based on the treatment protocol. This is further based on the diagnosis, patient’s condition, duration of illness, age, etc.,” she added.

Internationally, there have been several studies in the recent past on human embryonic stem cell therapy that paves the way for patient therapies.

According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports in November last year by the scientists at the University of Edinburgh, stem cells that have been specifically developed for use as clinical therapies are fit for use in patients.

Dr Shroff is confident that the therapy has the potential of treating many of mankind’s worst known afflictions.

“It is our mission to see human embryonic stem cell therapy as the first line of treatment for many of mankind’s worst afflictions. Our technology has been patented in 66 countries, including the US, Singapore, Australia, Japan and Korea,” Dr Shroff said. (IANS)(Photo: westonmedicalhealth.com)