According to the American Lung Association, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the third leading cause of death in the country. Over 11 million Americans have been diagnosed with the disease, but it's predicted that many more live with it undiagnosed.
The main cause of COPD is smoking, but non-smokers can develop the disease as well. Chronic cough, shortness of breath, frequent respiratory infections, wheezing and fatigue are a few of the signs that one may have COPD. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms don't surface until it's too late, making prevention methods – such as smoking cessation – critical.
Recent research shows that there might be a solution after a COPD diagnosis: stem cell therapy.
Can stem cell protect against COPD?
In an effort to assess whether a stem-cell stimulating medication could be used to reduce symptoms of COPD, researchers of the American Physiological Society exposed a large group of mice to cigarette smoke five days a week for 22 weeks. Half of the mice received injections of plerixafor, a medication used to stimulate the immune system to release more hematopoietic progenitor cells, or HPCs, which have been shown to treat diseases like emphysema. The other group remained the control, untreated.
After the trial period, researchers collected stem cells from both groups and found a drop in the number of cells in the untreated group. There was no detection of depleted HPCs in the group that was treated with plerixafor, and two weeks after treatment, the researchers found an increase in cells in the treated mice.
The results prove the researchers' theory that exposure to smoke, whether for a short or lengthy period of time, can damage HPCs. This shows that there may in fact be a way to reverse symptoms of COPD, giving more people living with the disease the ability to improve their overall health and well-being.
How the Longevity Centres can help
At the Longevity and Stem Cell Centre, we provide stem cell therapy via Stromal Vascular Fraction utilizing your own adult mesenchymal stem cells. Used to create a variety of organ tissues and ease pain associated with chronic conditions, some of the common uses of our stem cell procedures include treatment for orthopedic, autoimmune, cardiac and neurological disorders.
For more information on our offerings, contact the Longevity Centres directly today.