May clinic report says stem cell treatment for degenerative disc disease is effctive.
Degenerative disc disease refers to pain/ weakness/ numbness resulting from a degenerated disc in the spine. Disc degeneration is a natural part of aging and over time all people will exhibit changes of degeneration though the degree may vary. Degenerative disc disease is quite variable in its nature and severity.
In degenerative disc disease there is a poor self-repair capacity secondary to degeneration. Currently available treatments work only to eliminate the pain with medication and surgical procedures. No present treatment is able to restore the normal function and motion of the diseased human spine.
Researchers from Mayo clinic have reported in a meta-analysis of animal studies that stem cell treatment for degenerative disc disease is viable and effective in halting or reversing degenerative disc disease of the spine. The study was reported in a scientific poster today at the 30th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.
Calling it a landmark study, authors said that conclusions in pre-clinical animal studies that stem cell therapy for disc degenerative disease might be a potentially effective treatment for the very common condition that affects people’s quality of life and productivity.
Authors found that after stem cell implantation, not only disc height increased but also the disc water content increased and there was an improved appropriate gene expression. In process of degeneration, the disc looses water content, becomes dehydrated and as a result the disc height is reduced.
The research for the present study involved search of literature from MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO databases and also manually searched reference lists for original, randomized, controlled trials on animals that examined the association between intervertebral disc stem cell transplant and the change of disc height. Six studies met inclusion criteria.
The authors found that there was 23.6% increase in the disc height index in the transplant group compared with the placebo group. Not a single study showed a decrease in the disc height index in the transplant group. Increases in the disc height index were statistically significant in all individual studies.
The authors said that that it is time to turn attention to the much-needed work of determining the safety, feasibility, efficacy of intervertebral stem cell transplant for humans.
Get more stuff on Musculoskeltal Health
Subscribe to our Newsletter and get latest publications on Musculoskeletal Health your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.