22 Aug Stem Cell Therapy Can Treat Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Stem cells have been used in regenerative medicine to treat conditions and diseases that have no cure. Stem cells are being studied as a treatment for complex regional pain syndrome. They are able to create new and healthy cells to replace the damaged nerves causing your chronic pain.
What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition that mostly affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot), usually after an injury. Complex regional pain syndrome is thought to be caused by damage to the peripheral and central nervous systems. The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system involves all of the nerve signaling from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. CRPS is characterized by longer than normal or excessive pain, changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the injured area. There are two kinds of complex regional pain syndrome: CRPS-I and CRPS-II. Patients who have not been diagnosed with an injury to their nerves fall into the CRPS-I category. When a patient has a diagnosed nerve injury they fall into the CRPS-II category. The treatment is generally the same for both forms of complex regional pain syndrome. CRPS symptoms can vary, and some cases are mild enough they go away on their own. In the most severe cases, patients may never recover and have a long-term disability. In almost 90% of CPRS cases, the cause is from a previous injury. Complex regional pain syndrome is an abnormal body response to an injury and can magnify the pain. CPRS can affect the immune system of patients with this disorder, increasing the number of inflammatory properties in the blood and injured area. Some studies suggest this disorder is influenced by genetics. In very rare cases, CPRS can develop in patients without an injury.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells have recently been used in regenerative medicine because of their ability to repair damaged cells and create new, healthy ones. Stems cells are the source for all our tissues, muscles, bones, and brain cells. There are many different methods of harvesting stem cells from our own tissues, with some methods being much easier than others. Stem cells are found in embryonic cells, adult stem cells like bone marrow cells and fat tissue cells, adult stem cells that have been changed into embryonic cells, and perinatal cells. Several of these stem cells have the ability to become mesenchymal stem cells, which can become bone, fat, and cartilage. The easiest and most pain-free method of harvesting stem cells in adults is from a patient’s own fat tissue. These fat-derived stem cells never decline in abundance as you age, as adult bone marrow stem cells do. Bone marrow stem cells can also be extremely painful to harvest, unlike fat cells that are quick and painless to sample. Embryonic stem cells have been considered unethical to use, as they use unborn embryos to harvest the stem cells they use to create organs and tissues for a fetus. Researchers have attempted to overcome this ethical dilemma by using embryos that are fertilized outside of the womb who are not destined to become a living human.
How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Treat My Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?
Complex regional pain syndrome is thought to be a condition that affects the central nervous system. Stem cells are being studied in clinical trials as a treatment for complex regional pain syndrome. Researchers are able to show that stem cells can replace old, damaged nerve cells with new ones. This can reduce the pain felt from damaged nerves, and stop complex regional pain syndrome symptoms.