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18 Jul 2018

How Can Stem Cells Help in Muscular Dystrophy Treatment?

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Muscular Dystrophy is a genetic disease that can result in wasting and weakening of the muscles. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is the most common form of this illness affecting 1 in every 3500 kids. How stem cells can help in curing it.

In medical terms, Muscular Dystrophy is a condition in which heterogeneous group of neuromuscular disorders can result in muscle wasting, weakness, and in death. It is an incurable disease affecting skeletal muscles and organ systems. But, proper diagnosis and treatment can help in preventing or reducing the problems in the spine and joints to help the patients. The traditional treatments like medications and therapies can slow down its course. However, it needs more.

Like other degenerative diseases, Muscular Dystrophy is also caused due to loss of cells required for the proper working of a body. In muscular dystrophy disease, important muscle protein gets mutated and this leads to degeneration of the muscles. The satellite cells or muscle cells create myoblast cells for repairing the damaged muscle fibers. When these satellite cells can’t make sufficient myoblasts, the condition becomes worse in muscular dystrophy patients. In this Regard, stem cell therapy has emerged as a ray of hope for Muscular Dystrophy treatment

What are the types of Muscular Dystrophy?

The most common form of this disease is DMD or Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Apart from it, this disease can be examined in many other types that are:

  • Becker muscular dystrophy
  • Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy
  • Myotonic dystrophy
  • Myotonia congenital
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

How Can Stem Cells Help?

The stem cells can help in regenerating and repairing the affected muscles by inducing myogenesis. It provides a symptomatic relief to the patients. The stem cell therapy for Muscular Dystrophy treatment targets the inflammatory response system and work as an anti-inflammatory to stop further inflammation. There are many different stem cells that can be processed and used for the treatment of this disease. The main approaches being investigated by the experts are developing healthy fiber muscles and reducing inflammation.

In the first approach, this stem cells delivered into muscular dystrophy patient’s muscles cells. They can generate healthy muscle fibers to replace the damaged fibers. The second approach will target the damaged muscles that get inflamed. The inflammation speeds up the process of degeneration. Here, it is believed that some types of stem cells release the chemicals that can reduce this inflammation and slow the course of this disease substantially.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) Therapy:

The experts believe that the method of targeting inflammatory response can be effectively implemented by using this therapy. It has many advantages over all other types of stem cell-based treatments. The main benefits of using this therapy are:

  • It can be fused with the dystrophic muscle to complement it genetically. This helps in regenerating and repairing these muscles.
  • It produces the trophic factors that enhance the functioning of endogenous repair cells.
  • It produces anti-inflammatory activities to reduce inflammation in the DMD.

The stem cells treatment for muscular dystrophy is followed by a proper rehabilitation. It helps in improving the overall potential of the patients and making their everyday life simpler. The rehab includes physiotherapy to make the stem cells more functional. Physical and occupational therapies are used to help them in performing daily activities involving the hands and arms.

2 Responses

  1. Mrs Rowe

    My husband has limb girdle muscular dystrophy. He is 56 and has had the condition since birth. His movement now is quite limited. He can only walk a very short distance on sticks so is mainly in a wheelchair. The condition affects his breathing (he is on a ventilator at night) and his eating. He has a bicuspid heart. Would your treatment be able to help him in the longer term?

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