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Peripheral Neuropathy: Are Stem Cells The Answer?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that is unfortunately not only dangerous in its effects to the human body, but quite prevalent in the general populace. It is the situation in which the nerves that communicate between the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the human body are diseased or damaged. This can lead to strong pain due to wrong/bed messaging between the brain and nerves, impairment of normal muscle movement, and prevent normal feelings in limbs.

How Does It Affect People?

The peripheral nerves make up a network leading from the spinal cord and are arranged in lines along the body called dermatomes. When damage affection or more of these dermatomes, the damage interrupts communication between the brain of other parts, causing the aforementioned issues. The complicated nature of the peripheral nerves means that the treatment of this condition can involve a variety of medications from pain relievers and anti-seizure medications to therapies from physical therapy and surgery.

The Role of Stem Cells

Amidst all these possible treatments lies further hope by utilizing stem cells. Dina Mohammed Riad from Cairo University (2015, para. 1) states that ‘The adherent nature of Mesenchymal stem cells makes them easy to expand in culture and an attractive candidate to use in cell therapy. Therefore, cell therapy has recently emerged as an attractive therapeutic strategy.’ With no serious adverse effects, issues, or complications emerging from treatments, stem cell therapy has proven to be a possible method providing hope towards treating peripheral neuropathy.

‘The secretion of neurotrophic factors by different populations of stem cells suggests that no matter the source MSCs have the ability to decrease and ameliorate the negative effects on injured nerve fibers, improving the function of the injured nerve.’ (Zhou, Zhang, & Qian, 2016, para. 14) Stem cells have already established themselves as a strong alternative to more aggressive forms of recovery. In treating patients with peripheral neuropathy, there have been many cases of improvement and restoring of bodily health. While stem cells remain as a newer form of medicine, the results within the field have been very promising. Stem cells are also here as a beacon of hope for people who may have tried several other alternatives to no avail.

References

https://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-peripheral-neuropathy-basics#1
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/peripheral-neuropathy/symptoms-causes/syc-20352061
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4979500/
https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02387749

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