Regenerative medicine, such as stem cell therapy is an exciting and emerging field because of stem cells potential to regenerate and repair tissue. Stem cell therapy is bringing relief to patients who suffer from joint pain and reduced mobility, autoimmune diseases, COPD, neurodegenerative diseases, even sexual dysfunction – but many scientists and doctors feel that we’ve only scratched the surface of stem cell capabilities. For example, what if stem cells could not only help to heal your body, but also keep it young and strong? That’s what scientists and doctors, like Dr. Dongsheng Cai at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, wanted to find out. Their findings may surprise you.
How Stem Cells Affect Aging
As we age, our stem cells age, and it’s inevitable that our body will suffer from age-induced deterioration. Doctors are discovering that stem cells play an important factor in how quickly we age – and if it’s reversible by injecting various parts of our body, including our brain, with new, healthy stem cells. As stem cells age, their ability to renew deteriorates, and their ability to differentiate into various cell types also becomes altered – we’re now finding out what health implications that has.
Are Stem Cells the Real Fountain of Youth?
During his studies, Dr. Cai was able to locate the specific cells that are responsible for the aging process. He found that injecting mice with new stem cells into a region of the brain called the hypothalamus influenced how quickly they aged. It actually slowed down the aging process. More specifically, his abstract stated “In conclusion, aging speed is substantially controlled by hypothalamic stem cells, partially through the release of exosomal miRNAs.” While it may not be akin to bathing in the fountain of youth, it could be like adding a few drops of youth water to your body to slow the aging process down. You can read more about Dr. Cai’s study here.
Stem Cells Effect on Muscle Strength
Stem cells affect overall aging, but also our strength as we age. As early as your 30’s the size and strength of your muscles beings to decline, but new studies are showing that stem cells may hold a key to slowing muscle loss as we age.
“Even an elite trained athlete, who has high absolute muscle strength will still experience a decline with age,” said Joe Chakkalakal, assistant professor of Orthopaedics in the Center for Musculoskeletal Research at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). Chakkalakal is leading a study investigating how muscle loss occurs in mice and trying to figure out how humans might avoid it.
He’s discovered that the loss of muscle stem cells is the main driving force behind muscle decline in old age in mice, and he and other researchers are hoping to develop a drug or therapy that can slow muscle stem cell loss and muscle decline in the future.
Read more about this URMC study and Chakkalakal’s research here.
The Future of Stem Cells
Today, stem cell therapy is capable of repairing damaged tissues and joints, and doctors are actively studying newer and further applications such as spinal injuries, cancer and if and how stem cells can slow down the effects of aging on the body.
Some common conditions that are benefiting from stem cell therapy include:
Dr. Spiel at the Stem Cell Center of NJ has made it his life’s work to constantly study current findings, and stay up-to-the-minute on scientific literature regarding stem cell news, and then make those therapy applications available to his patients. Contact us today to find out if you’re a candidate for stem cell therapy, and how it can benefit you.