All About Stem Cell Treatment for Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are tricky. They can occur for a number of reasons and can range widely in severity. Symptoms may appear immediately or they could take days—or even weeks—to develop. Symptoms also tend to vary from person to person, as does the time for recovery. Some patients never fully recover from their brain injury.
All of this variability makes it difficult to treat TBIs. Some mild injuries, like concussions, tend to resolve themselves over time, especially with proper monitoring and rehabilitation. Other, more severe injuries, on the other hand, can linger for years, often as the result of bleeding and cell damage.
The nervous system doesn’t heal in the same way as other tissues in the body do. Typically, TBI treatment generally includes undergoing rehabilitation to re-teach the body how to function. This helps to form new neural pathways, allowing patients to recover some of their lost function.
However, there is significant potential for stem cell treatments to make this process even more effective.
TBIs and Regenerative Medicine
In stem cell therapy, undifferentiated cells are introduced to the body, which stimulates the body’s own natural responses. This can provide a wide range of improvements for patients suffering from the effects of a TBI, including:
- Reduction in chronic pain
- Better appetite
- More consistent sleep patterns
- Heightened cognitive functioning
- Improvements in muscle usage or motor control
While stem cell treatments aren’t intended to cure patients who are suffering from TBIs, they have the potential to dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life, adding yet another treatment option to existing therapies.
How Stem Cell Treatments Work
In most cases, TBIs cause the body’s immune system to respond to the site of the injury. Unfortunately, this response can quickly overwhelm the injured area and can cause a number of neurons in the brain to die. This can lead to brain tissue damage of varying degrees. Early intervention is the key to limiting damage.
Stem cell treatments for TBIs introduce mesenchymal stem cells that are drawn from either adipose (fat) or umbilical cord (Wharton’s Jelly) tissues into the body. These cells are administered by an intrathecal injection to target the brain tissues where studies have shown they have the potential to help regrow neurons and restore many of the lost neurological functions.
What is most exciting is that this research is still developing, which means that there is unlimited potential for stem cell treatments as the science continues to improve. Even now, though, patients with TBIs can benefit tremendously from this therapy, especially in combination with other treatments.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for TBI, also known as stem cells for traumatic brain injury. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.