Autoimmune disorders occur when the body fails to recognize the difference between the self and non-self. When this happens, the body makes antibodies that are directed towards the body’s own tissues, resulting in the immune system mistakenly attacking and destroying healthy tissue. These misguided attacks on the body often result in organ damage and serve as a precursor to autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune diseases affect over 23.5 million Americans and are a leading cause of death and disability. Traditionally, autoimmune conditions have been treated with immune suppressive agents such as steroids, methothrexate, cyclosporine, gold, and more recently infliximab (Remicade). Recent advancements in stem cell research and stem cell therapy practices have shown that stem cells can be used to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, and Lupus. Stem cell therapy procedures may also help patients who have been unresponsive to typical autoimmune disease drug treatments.
Stem cells harvested from a patient’s adipose (fat) have the potential to replace numerous cells within the body. These undifferentiated cells then heal the body by replacing cells affected by the autoimmune disease, thereby sparking a healthy immune system response that regenerates new cells.
After the stem cells are extracted and prepared for injection, they may be administered in one of three ways: intravenously (injected directly into the vein), direct injection (into site needing repair), or intranasally (through the nose). The selected method of delivery is determined by which delivers the highest quantity of activated stem cells to the area requiring them.