What are the main areas of the stem cell treatments available at ADONIS?
First of all, stem cells are a millennial mechanism of regeneration that nature has given us.
To understand in which areas of medicine they are effectively used, I will tell you where they come from and why they are called stem.
These cells with almost unlimited possibilities, formed us once in the womb and they allow us to be healthy in adulthood.
First, this type of cell is a mandatory component of our body and only then – a tool that is consciously used by man.
During differentiation, each stem cell gives rise to at least one stem cell. The second cell resulting from division may also be a stem cell (in this case, the division of the stem cell is called symmetrical), but more often it enters a conscious path of development – this is called stem cell differentiation. In the process of growth and development of the organism in this way all the specialized cells form our tissues and organs. With age, our stock of stem cells decreases significantly, but until old age, most tissues still contain their stock of stem cells, which are involved in the process and differentiate when the tissue is damaged to restore its structure.
Thus, the very term “stem cell” in the formal interpretation means that each such cell gives rise to a tree of descendants, at the base of the trunk of which it is located. This result is due to the unique properties of stem cells – the ability to asymmetric division.
These are cells that can give rise to about 250 different types of differentiated cells of all organs and tissues of the human body.
For a cell to be considered stem, it must have three main features:
● these cells form a self-sustaining population. What does this mean: in the division of such a cell – some of its offspring remain stem (not yet defined in the “childish” carefree age), while others have to choose their vocation, differentiate and get to work;
● during the life of the organism, these cells can divide indefinitely and give any number of generations of offspring (again, according to the stem principle, when one remains a child and the other needs to enter “adult life”)
● Stem cells have a choice due to non-final differentiation. This allows their offspring to develop in several different directions, opening up all roads to them
At the moment, our medical center has developed effective protocols and conducted clinical trials in many areas, in particular, we use cell therapy in:
● gynecology and urology (the most decisive results we obtained in the treatment of female infertility associated with problems of the endometrium)
and other areas and medical conditions in which cell therapy will be an effective treatment.
What is post-Covid syndrome and what are the symptoms?
It has been established that obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result in patients with coronavirus infection does not always mean recovery, and most patients have long-term dysfunction of various organs and neuropsychological activity.
Most people with coronavirus recover completely within a few weeks. But some people – even those who have had mild versions of the disease – continue to experience symptoms after initial recovery.
This condition is called COVID-19 syndrome or “long-term COVID-19”, post-Covid syndrome.
Elderly people and people with serious illnesses often have symptoms of COVID-19, but even young, mostly healthy people may experience malaise for weeks or months after infection. The most common signs and symptoms that persist over time include:
● shortness of breath
● joint pain
● chest pain
Other long-term signs and symptoms may include:
● Muscle pain or headache
● Fast or fast heartbeat
● Loss of smell or taste
● Problems with memory, concentration, or sleep
● Rash or hair loss
Between 60% and 80% of patients with COVID-19 experience symptoms of varying severity. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention not only to the treatment of COVID-19, but also to the rehabilitation of patients after the disease. Already today, a set of special physical exercises has been developed among the recommendations for overcoming the symptoms of postcoronavirus infection. The most common lung problem after a coronavirus infection, which can be fatal, is pulmonary fibrosis, ie the sites of lung damage do not regenerate, epithelial cells do not regenerate, and overgrow with connective tissue. Thus, the lungs become unable to provide 100% oxygen to the body.
Does post-Covid syndrome only affect people who had severe disease?
No, unfortunately, this is not the case.
Even in relatively healthy and young patients, we observe post-Covid symptoms daily.
In my own experience, I can say that quite often the symptoms of post-Covid can be more severe than the condition during the disease.
This is due to organ damage caused by COVID-19
Although COVID-19 is considered a disease that primarily affects the lungs, it can also damage many other organs. This organ damage can increase the risk of long-term health problems.
The main targets for post-Covid are:
Visual examinations performed several months after recovery from COVID-19 showed persistent damage to the heart muscle, even in people with only mild symptoms of COVID-19. This may increase the risk of heart failure or other heart complications in the future.
The type of pneumonia often associated with COVID-19 can cause prolonged damage to the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. Newly formed scar tissue can lead to long-term breathing problems.
Even in young people, COVID-19 can cause strokes, convulsions and Hyena-Barre syndrome, a condition that causes temporary paralysis. COVID-19 may also increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
● Blood clots and problems with blood vessels
COVID-19 may increase the likelihood of blood clots. Although larger blood clots can cause heart attacks and strokes, it is believed that most heart damage caused by COVID-19 occurs due to small blood clots that block tiny blood vessels (capillaries) in the heart muscle.
Other organs that can be affected by blood clots are the lungs, blood vessels of the lower extremities, liver and kidneys.
● Mood problems and fatigue
People with severe COVID-19 symptoms often need to be treated in the hospital’s intensive care unit using mechanical means such as ventilators. Simply experiencing this experience can increase the likelihood of developing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.
Many people who have been cured of SARS develop chronic fatigue syndrome, a complex condition characterized by extreme fatigue that worsens with physical or mental activity but does not improve with rest.
Many long-term effects after COVID-19 are still unknown
Large medical centers are currently opening specialized clinics to help people with persistent symptoms or related illnesses after recovering from COVID-19.
What are the goals of post-Covid Immune-Therapy using the Stem Cells?
To answer this question, I will talk about another function of stem cells – their ability to regulate the inflammatory response and promote tissue repair and regeneration. The use of mesenchymal stem cells has a positive effect on the condition of patients with COVID-19 and helps to recover faster. The biological justification for the use of MSCs in therapy for the rehabilitation of patients with COVID-19 is based on the following properties of stem cells:
● antiapoptotic properties – MSCs can protect the epithelial cells of the lungs and other organs from death (apoptosis), as they secrete several growth factors. MSCs produce keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and TGF-β1, etc., which protect the cells of the alveolar epithelium of the lungs from death. The protective effect of MSCs has also been shown in cardiac ischemia and nervous disorders;
● regenerative potential of MSCs. Respiratory diseases require not only the elimination of the virus, but also the restoration of damaged tissues. MSCs secrete soluble factors such as angiopoietin-1 (ANGPT1), epidermal growth factor (EGF), PGE2, HGF, VEGFA, KGF and interleukin-10 (IL-10), which can promote epithelial and endothelial regeneration, increase alveolar clitoris , regulate the permeability of the epithelium and endothelium of the lungs and reduce inflammation in patients with affected lungs. Keratinocyte growth factor and hepatocyte growth factor secreted by MSCs have shown beneficial effects on emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis in a model of acute lung injury (ALI).
● immunomodulatory properties – MSCs can suppress an over-activated immune system, which is essential in severe and critically severe cases of coronavirus infection, when developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) due to uncontrolled release of inflammatory cytokines;
What effects of cell therapy do we expect from the patient:
Immunomodulation – optimization of the body’s protective response
Protecting and improving lung function: restoring alveoli, preventing fibrosis and respiratory failure, reducing the risk of death
Protection of other organs and tissues of the body, reducing the risk of nonspecific complications
Improving blood supply to all organs and tissues, accelerating the body’s recovery and rehabilitation after a viral infection
After treatment, patients have reduced shortness of breath, cough passes faster, improves breathing, increases endurance during physical activity
What are the results and how long the recover from post-Covid take, and do patients fully recover?
Here it is necessary to tell in what the mechanism of action of mesenchymal stem cells at COVID-19?
First of all, mesenchymal stem cells do not have an angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) receptor on their surface, through which the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus binds to the cell, ie these cells cannot become infected with the virus.
Mesenchymal stem cells are a powerful immunomodulator, they secrete many anti-inflammatory biologically active substances (cytokines) that reduce the inflammatory process in the lungs. Also, mesenchymal stem cells secrete numerous growth factors that help restore not only the affected lung tissue, but also other organs. It is known that Sars-CoV-2 affects cells that contain the ACE-2 receptor, and these are the lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, blood vessels.
The results of studies show that after the application of cell therapy, the duration of the patient’s stay in the hospital from 22 days to six days compared with patients receiving standard treatment.
Subsequent analysis showed that patients receiving stem cells were 3.1 times more likely to recover within seven days than patients receiving standard therapy.
More than two-thirds (67 percent) of patients treated with stem cells recovered with the new treatment and currently do not experience symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, chest pain, disorientation, headache, than they sought treatment
What are other applications of Stem Cell Immune-Therapy?
The role of the stem cell is not limited to the substitution function “help your neighbor” and go to the field as a replacement for the lost cell, but also in the paracrine effect, in which the stem cell acts as a “regenerative manager” without obscuring the defect caused by inflammation (or other process), and also adjusting and coordinating work of other cells and structures (fibroblasts, macrophages, leukocytes)
Studies show that MSCs, when used intravenously or by injection, stimulate the growth of the capillary network and produce collagen and elastin. As a result, they have the ability to restore blood supply and gas exchange, increasing the regenerative potential of the skin, as well as other tissues and organs of the body, whose function deteriorates with age.
Older tissues have a limited reservoir of stem cells, a reduced population and low renewal efficiency.
When administered to the body, MSCs can replenish the supply of stem cells, and the above properties contribute to external and internal improvements, such as:
● Healthy, radiant, clean, supple skin.
● Reduction of visible signs of aging (improvement of skin turgor, small wrinkles)
● Improving overall human health and immune response
● Energy inflow.
● Improving general well-being.
Thus, the complex effects of stem cell therapy lie both at a deep level and on the surface of the body.
This is one of the areas of modern cell therapy – anti-aging.
In this direction, the aging process is seen as a disease that can be cured, but this is the subject of a separate webinar)