Monday, September 25, 2017

Research Suggests Stem Cell Therapy Could Relieve Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Stem cell therapy can be highly effective for treating a wide range of spine and joint conditions, including degenerative diseases and sports injuries. But new research from Japan suggests it may also help patients living with Parkinson’s disease to manage some of their main symptoms, including shaking and loss of movement control.

With stem cell therapy, patients with Parkinson’s may be able to control their movements enough to play tennis. After successfully testing the treatment on monkeys, researchers are preparing for the first trial with human patients.

 Parkinson’s damages brain cells, which causes the brain to lose dopamine, a chemical that helps control bodily movements. In Parkinson’s patients, this leads to shaking, stiffness, slowness, dizziness, and involuntary movement. Patients find it difficult to perform basic movements, and often find they lose their balance.

Researchers were curious if stem cell therapy could help to regenerate the brain cells damaged by the disease. Using tissue from adult humans, the researchers extracted stem cells—undifferentiated cells capable of adapting to become any kind of specialized cell—and used them to manufacture new brain cells in monkeys. At the same time, the monkeys were being carefully monitored for adverse side effects.

 According to the report published in the journal Nature, the monkeys experienced a 40-55% improvement in motor skills with the introduction of the new brain cells. They also regained their balance and movement control, suggesting that this treatment could effectively relieve the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

While stem cell therapy may be able to improve a patient’s physical capability and reduce the need for medication, it is not a cure for the disease itself. Parkinson’s also causes cognitive problems, including memory loss, which will require further study to treat.

However, this new research is a promising step forward for Parkinson’s treatment. Now that the treatment has been pronounced safe, researchers are preparing to test it on humans for the first time. If these tests yield positive results, it may be used to help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Stem cell therapy has proven effective for treating a wide range of degenerative diseases, sports injuries, and back and joint pain. The treatment is safe, minimally-invasive, and has a short recovery time. To find out if stem cell therapy is right for you, contact us today.

Tips for Managing Back and Joint Pain This Fall

Now that fall is here, it’s time to dig the cozy sweaters out of the wardrobe, start raking leaves, and prepare for the weather to get cooler. You may be planning some long hikes to enjoy the leaves turning golden, gearing up for football season, or just looking forward to catching up on housework now that the kids are back at school. Whatever your plans, the last thing you need is back and joint pain sabotaging the season for you.

Common fall activities like yard work, hiking, lifting, carrying, bending, and reaching can often trigger pain in the back, knees, and shoulders. If you already experience pain in your back or joints, the season can leave you feeling sore.

Luckily, with a little extra caution, you can minimize your pain and enjoy everything fall has to offer. Here are some simple tips for managing your back and joint pain this fall.

Warm up

Before doing any physical activity like hiking, raking, or housework, be sure to warm up. Depending on which joints you’ll be putting strain on, you may want to stretch your arms and legs, bend your knees, and roll your shoulders back and forth. Put some movement into your joints and try to loosen them up a bit. Doing this for a few minutes before you start can save you from hours of discomfort later.

Don’t carry too much

Whether you’re carrying a basket of laundry up the stairs or a bag of leaves to the compost barrel, be careful not to carry too much weight. You may be tempted to save time by carrying everything in one trip, but think about your back and try not to overdo it. If you’re dead set on bringing home the biggest pumpkin in the whole patch, get someone to help you lift it into a wheelbarrow and wheel it to your car.

Lift properly

Speaking of lifting a heavy pumpkin, remember to protect your back by lifting with your knees. Stand close to the object you want to lift and bend your knees, keeping your back straight. Lift using your legs and arms—never with your back. Avoid jerking or twisting while you’re lifting, and keep the object close to you when you’re carrying it. Don’t bend at the waist to put it down—bend your knees, and lower the object with slow, controlled movements.

 Of course, if something is just too heavy for you or you already have a sore back, it never hurts to ask someone to help you lift it!

Take regular breaks

Strenuous work like raking leaves, washing the windows in your house, or reaching up to pick apples, can quickly wear you out. To combat this, stop and take a short break from time to time, or whenever you feel you need one.

Know when to stop

If your joints are telling you to stop, you might want to listen. If you feel a sharp pain in your back, it’s best to stop for the day and come back to the task later, instead of trying to power through and making your pain worse. You’ve still got a lot of fall left to enjoy, so don’t put yourself on the sidelines when the season has barely begun!

If joint pain is getting in the way of your plans for fall, you may want to consider an alternative, non-surgical treatment option. Stem Cell Therapy uses the body’s regenerative abilities to bring healing to injured or worn-down joints. Contact us today to find out if stem cell therapy can help treat your joint pain this fall.