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Does the stem cell therapy have side effects?
Since individual’s own stem cells are used, no allergic reaction is observed. No side effect is expected. Therefore, it is a very safe application. Its efficacy and reliability have been demonstrated by animal and human studies that have been going on for decades. There is a lot of literature in this regard.
How effective is stem cell therapy in neurological diseases?
It has a high success rate when administered during the first 1-month period in spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, paralysis due to cerebrovascular diseases which are untreatable today. In addition to these, there are ongoing studies and though not miraculous, promising results for insoluble diseases, such as Parkinson, Alzheimer, ALS, MS and Muscular Dystrophy. However, early diagnosis and application is essential in all nervous system disorders. Thus we can talk about stopping, treating and preventing these diseases.
How long does it take to recognize the effect of stem cell therapy in painful diseases?
Stem cells have both early and late effects on pain. In the early period, they can immediately alleviate pain because of their inflammation-suppressive properties. They reduce swelling, oedema. In the late period, their tissue-restorative effect, which is the main therapeutic properties of them, comes up. Although their significant restorative properties begin from the first day, they are recognized in 1 month at the earliest, and the patient is expected to recover gradually within 6 months to 1 year.
Is it a longer-lasting application than PRP?
PRP means “platelet rich plasma” which is a blood plasma rich in platelet cells. The importance of platelet cells is that they have more than 500 cell growth hormones and factors. While platelet cells do not release these hormones under normal conditions, these hormones are released in the presence of damage to the tissue and contribute to the healing process. Stem cells have quite different properties. They can both proliferate and can directly transform into the damaged tissue itself. In other words, the stem cell can transform into specific cells such as dead cartilage, heart, kidney, brain cells. Whereas, the platelet cells cannot transform into these specific cells. Therefore, we can say that stem cells are longer lasting due to their restorative properties.
What are the points to take into consideration after stem cell therapy?
In all stem cell applications and at tissue repair stages, there should be an inflammation process. The issue that should not be confused is that this is not a microbial inflammation and does not require antibiotics. During this process, also referred to as healing inflammation, the use of anti-inflammatory class painkillers during this process disrupts the tissue healing. Only the group of painkillers containing paracetamol can be used. In addition, proper nutrition and adequate intake of protein are important for tissue repair. Furthermore, excessive weight should be avoided in musculoskeletal problems, strengthening exercises and programs for muscles should be applied.
Does the patient feel pain during or after stem cell therapy?
Analgesia at sedative dose, called regional anaesthesia or sedo-analgesia, is administered for the procedures of obtaining stem cells. Because of that, the patient does not feel much pain while it is obtained. The injections administered during the treatment are not more painful than vaccine injections. In applications for cosmetic purpose, again not much pain arises because of cold and anaesthetic creams are applied on the skin. Also no pain arises in the following days.
Apart from health, is stem cell therapy also carried out for cosmetic problems?
As we age, the number of our stem cell decreases. Chronic diseases are believed to emerge due to that. With age, the number of stem cells in our skin also decreases, so the syntheses of collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, which gives firmness, elasticity and freshness to the skin, also reduce. A reduction in these proteins, which fill the skin and retain water, results in lines, wrinkles and sags. In order to prevent this, a biopsy sample of a lentil size is taken from the skin. The skin stem cells obtained are proliferated in the culture medium for about 4-6 weeks and are injected into the skin areas desired to be corrected, such as face and neck, so as to be at least 20-25 million cells in each session. It is usually sufficient to carry out 2 or 3 sessions at 1 month intervals.
How are the stem cells obtained?
The stem cells are synthesized in the bone marrow and mix into the blood throughout our lives. They are found in all tissues. While it was first considered that they were stored only in the bone marrow, today it was discovered that they are also stored in the fat tissue under the skin, called adipose tissue. It is even thought that the stem cells found in the fat tissue are 500 to 2500 times greater than that of the bone marrow.
While the bone marrow-derived stem cells are taken from the back parts of the pelvic bone by aspiration, the adipose tissue-derived stem cells are often taken from the abdominal region by a minimally invasive procedure, called mini liposuction. The samples obtained are rapidly centrifuged and after being subjected to some laboratory procedures, they are turned into serum.
Another method is the proliferation in the culture medium. First, a small amount of bone marrow like 10-20 ml or a fat tissue sample in nail size is taken. The extracted stem cells are cultured and proliferated in culture medium for 4-6 weeks. Their number reaches millions.
In which regions of the body and in which diseases are the stem cells used?
The stem cells can be administered to all joints, muscles, into the spinal canal, to skin, lungs through the nose, eyes and to systemically all internal organs through the vessels. They can be applied to almost all chronic diseases that are incurable today.Although some studies are still going on, they are used as a life saver in osteoarthritis, meniscal, ligament and muscular tears, lumbar-cervical disc degenerations, avascular necrosis and osteonecrosis, rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, in autoimmune pathologies such as SLE, Sjögren’s syndrome, Hashimoto and MS, in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson, Alzheimer, ALS, in cerebrovascular paralysis, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, peripheral nerve neuropathies, muscular dystrophy, organ failures such as heart, kidney and liver, in diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, newborn congenital diaphragm hernia and graft versus host disease. In addition, they also have therapeutic effects in anal fissures.
What is stem cell therapy in painful diseases and why is it important?
The stem cells are special cells that repair damaged tissues in our bodies throughout our lives. In painful and rheumatic diseases mainly due to musculoskeletal problems, they do not only reduce the pain but also show therapeutic properties by transforming into special cells such as cartilage, meniscus, nerve and tendon which cannot renew themselves. Under normal conditions, there are found very few and in sleeping state in the tissues.
They quickly wake up in the case of a damage, migrate to the problematic area, and begin to proliferate. However, due to their small number, they cannot completely repair the tissue. Fortunately, it is very easy to collect and proliferate the stem cells thanks to modern medical methods. Thus, when a large number of stem cells are given from the outside, they can completely repair the damage. While osteoarthritis associated with aging, the most common cause of joint pain in the world, cannot be treated with conventional drugs and methods, the stem cells have a great importance in such incurable chronic diseases thanks to their tissue regenerative and restorative properties.