People who suffer from chronic nerve pain often have a hard time finding a treatment that works for them because neuropathic pain doesn’t respond to most painkillers. As a result, this type of pain can often be debilitating and lead to difficulties socializing and holding down a job.
Fortunately, there may be a cure for nerve pain on the horizon. Scientists at Duke University have shown that a type of stem cells called bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) are able to help lessen reactions to painful stimuli in mice. Stromal cells were injected into the fluid surrounding the mice’s spinal cords, providing pain relief that went far beyond the expected results.
“This analgesic effect was amazing,” said researcher Ru-Rong Ji of the Duke School of Medicine. “Normally, if you give an analgesic, you see pain relief for a few hours, at most a few days. But with bone marrow stem cells, after a single injection we saw pain relief over four to five weeks.”
The exact mechanism through which stem cell treatment relieves pain is unknown, but this study was able to uncover more of the specifics. The researchers found that the cells were able to detect and migrate directly to the site of a spinal cord injury, releasing an anti-inflammatory protein that has been shown to be lacking in people with chronic pain. When the researchers chemically neutralized this protein, the painkilling effects were reversed.
The researchers say the next problem to tackle will be making BMSCs more efficient at producing this key protein.
For information about how a stem cell treatment may be able to improve your quality of life, contact the Longevity Centres of America today.