Stem Cell Therapy Can Treat Symptoms of Meningitis

Stem Cell Therapy Can Treat Symptoms of Meningitis

Meningitis can be a sudden and life-threatening condition, leading to comas and death in the most severe cases. There are several different ways meningitis can manifest in the body. There are bacterial infections, viral infections, surgeries, infections, and bone fractures than all can lead to meningitis. This condition affects the brain and spinal cord and can progress quickly and with little warning. Stem cell therapy is not yet an FDA approved treatment in the United States but it’s showing promising results in other countries and animal-model studies.


What is Meningitis?


Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain and spinal cord called the meninges. The swelling from meningitis typically triggers symptoms such as headache, fever, and a stiff neck. A viral infection causes most cases of meningitis in the United States, but bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections are other causes. Some cases of meningitis improve without treatment in a few weeks. Others can be life-threatening and require emergency antibiotic treatment and hospitalization. Seek immediate medical care if you suspect that someone has meningitis. Early treatment of bacterial meningitis can prevent serious complications and death. Early meningitis symptoms may mimic the flu or common cold. Symptoms may develop over several hours or a few days.


Viral infections are the most common cause of meningitis, followed by bacterial infections and, rarely, fungal infections. Because bacterial infections can be life-threatening, identifying the cause is essential. Bacteria that enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain and spinal cord cause acute bacterial meningitis. But it can also occur when bacteria directly invade the meninges.

This may be caused by an ear or sinus infection, a skull fracture, or, rarely, after some surgeries. Acute bacterial meningitis must be treated immediately with intravenous antibiotics and sometimes steroids. This helps to ensure recovery and reduce the risk of complications, such as brain swelling and seizures. Severe brain swelling can lead to a coma or death. The antibiotic or combination of antibiotics depends on the type of bacteria causing the infection. Your doctor may recommend a broad-spectrum antibiotic until he or she can determine the exact cause of meningitis. Your doctor may drain any infected sinuses or mastoids, which are the bones behind the outer ear that connect to the middle ear. Viral meningitis cannot be cured with antibiotics. Generally, it will clear up on its own with bed rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medications.


How Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Symptoms of Meningitis?


The FDA in the United States has not yet approved stem cell therapy for the treatment of meningitis. There are several countries with doctors offering this treatment, but you must fly out of the States for it. Animal models are being studied for safety in the United States before the treatment is transferred to humans. However, animal models are showing promising results. The animals treated with stem cells lived longer and improved the inflammation in the brain. This treatment may soon be available for patients in the United States, but more studies need to be done for safety before the FDA will approve it.

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