Diabetes as of today cannot be eliminated completely although medications can limit its symptoms and make a normal life possible. However, the patient has to keep on taking medicines lifelong. The latest research indicates that stem cell treatment for diabetes can be helpful in curing the condition.
Type I & Type II Diabetes
Diabetes is a very destructive disease that disrupts the normal life of millions across the world. There are two major forms of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the immune system of the body keeps on destroying the beta cells of the pancreas produced by insulin. Type 2 diabetes is more common and is caused due to insulin resistance. Due to this condition, the different tissues in the body stop responding to the insulin action properly causing a decline in the functioning of the beta cells. At one point, these cells lose their capacity to produce enough insulin to counteract insulin resistance. Researchers are actively experimenting to check how stem cell treatment for diabetes can be used to treat both these types of diseases.
Stem Cell Treatment &Type 1 Diabetes
According to research both types of diabetes can be possibly cured with stem cell treatment. In the case of type 1 diabetes, the damage is localized to a particular type of cell. Theory suggests that those stem cells that can differentiate into beta cells when they receive molecular signals in the local environment of the pancreas can be introduced into the body. Through this particular type of stem cell treatment for diabetes, these specific types of stem cells would shift to the damaged tissue and then differentiate to maintain the required mass of beta cells.Once these differentiated cells come into existence they can be transplanted into the body of the patient. This particular therapy can be useful to treat type 1 diabetes as it helps in replenishing beta cells destroyed through autoimmune processes.
Stem Cell Treatment & Type 2 Diabetes
According to latest research stem cell treatment for diabetes can also be used for patients with type 2 diabetes. Scientists have found out that stem cells derived from the adipose tissue of the patients with T2DM can lead to reduction or abolition of the requirement of insulin by 80 percent or even more in a period of about 6 months.
When Mesenchymal stem cells are introduced into the body of patients with type 2 diabetes it leads to increase in the development of new blood vessels. It also encourages secretion of various products in the immune system. These stem cells up-regulate the vascular growth factors and the pancreatic transcription factors.
Due to this a microenvironment that supports the resident stem cell and beta cell activation and survival are created. Patients can benefit hugely from the stem cell treatment for diabetes only if their own stem cells are used for regenerating pancreas and boost the ability to produce insulin.
Searching Pancreatic Stem Cells for Treatment
In both the types of diabetes it is important that pancreatic stem cells are used from the body of the patient for treatment. Now, it is very difficult because the pancreas is a very complex organ. It consists of different types of cells. Most of its mass is made up of exocrine tissue containing acinar cells. These cells secrete pancreatic enzymes to help food digestion in the intestine. Among all the clusters of endocrine cells in the pancreas, insulin-producing beta cells form only one type. Hence picking up those cells specifically can be a challenging task for the medical experts. According to one source, science has been successful in treating Type 2 diabetes through repeated applications of adipose stem cells. This particular stem cell treatment for diabetes is accompanied by supplementation, dietary changes and exercise to ensure long-lasting control over the levels of blood sugar. Reports indicate that the procedure has been found to be successful and the patients continue to reap benefits even six months after the treatment.
Use of Adult Pancreatic Stem Cells
Advocates of this particular type of treatment for curing diabetes say that undifferentiated and adaptable adult stem cells have the ability to transform into cells of countless structures and organs in the human body. There are many therapies currently using stem cell technique to rejuvenate failing cells and repairing damaged structures. The stem cell treatment for diabetes still is not available in most of the medical centers as experiments are still going on. However, several reputed health organizations and clinics are treating diabetes with their specialized adult autologous stem cell therapy program. The process involves introducing around 200 to 300 million stem cells in the body of the patient. The number of these stem cells is determined taking into consideration the daily losses of cells and those lost during the last 15 to 20 years. Once the stem cells are introduced, organs are renewed and rejuvenated as these new active cells replace the damaged and old ones.
Clinical Challenges for Stem Cell Treatment
Although it does seem easy on the paper, experts believe that a lot more research is needed before the stem cells can be confidently used for regenerating the islet tissues in diabetic patients. Medical experts are struggling to find and identify the specific pancreatic stem cell having the greatest potential to treat diabetes. The autoimmune response from the cells in patients with type 1 diabetes is difficult and hence significantly challenging to the medical science. However, the experts do believe that the stem cell therapy does have a potential to cover the major deficiency in one type of cell causing type 1 diabetes and to improve symptoms in type 2 diabetic patients.
Advantages of Stem Cell Treatment for Diabetes
If this type of treatment becomes a regular thing it will benefit humanity in many ways. Check out its advantages:
- It is free of side effects and rejection as the treatment uses stem cells from the abdomen of the patient.
- It does not cause any transmissible diseases due to contamination.
- Since adult stem cells are much mature than the embryonic cells there are no oncological complications.
- It requires only small amount of fat tissue
- Use of adipose tissue stem cells is very much practical as it is easily accessible and gives ten times more stem cells as compared to bone marrow of a patient.
Although the research is still at a starting point and can better with more experiments, one thing is sure that stem cell treatment for diabetes does have a future. Swiss Medica is providing Stem Cell Treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
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