Diabetics who suffer from diabetic peripheral neuropathy may benefit from a new type of stem cell preparation, says a new study published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage, causes pain or loss of feeling in the toes, feet, legs, hands, and arms among diabetic patients. About 70 percent of diabetes suffer from neuropathy. Current treatments for severe diabetic peripheral neuropathy include tricyclic antidepressants, anticonvulsants, opioids, serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and topical agents.
“However, none of these therapies directly targets the inflammation, most have negative side effects and less than 30 percent of patients experience adequate pain relief. Clearly, new therapies are needed,” explains Dr. Ruth Waterman of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans and lead author of the study
However, a new preparation of stem cell treatment may target the inflammation that is thought to be the main cause of neuropathy.
Dr. Waterman recently collaborated with other researchers including Dr. Aline Betancourt from Tulane University’s Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine to develop a new stem cell treatment that controls the inflammation that causes diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Previous studies have indicated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are safe and effective in treating inflammatory disease such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Unfortunately, as Dr. Betancourt explains:
“The problem is that the current methods for preparing these cells yield a mixed pool of undefined cells that aren’t consistently effective in the clinic. Our laboratory developed a new method that results in a consistent, uniform MSC population and optimizes their anti-inflammatory effects. We call these cells MSC2s.”
This new preparation of stem cell treatment had produced significant improvements in inflammation and other symptoms. Mice given the new stem cell treatment preparation saw a 40 percent improvement. Mice given the original preparation saw only a 14 percent improvement.
As Dr. Waterman concludes:
“Moreover the responses did not differ from what we saw in the healthy control group of mice. These findings suggest that the use of anti-inflammatory MSC2 is a promising new therapeutic strategy for diabetic peripheral neuropathy that should be further investigated.”
Would you try the new preparation of stem cell treatment to treat your diabetic peripheral neuropathy?