Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In Muscular Dystrophy, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle, resulting in progressive skeletal muscle weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and death of muscle cells and tissue. There are nine major types of MD and most types of MD are multi-system disorders with manifestations in body systems including the heart, gastrointestinal system, nervous system, endocrine glands, eyes, and brain. Symptoms of the most common variety begin in childhood, primarily in boys; others do not surface until adulthood. Some people who have muscular dystrophy will eventually lose the ability to walk, while others may have trouble breathing or swallowing.
MD has a strong genetic link and treatment options are rather limited. While there is no cure, medications and physical therapy can help manage symptoms and slow the course of the disease. Additionally, stem cell therapy may serve as a viable alternative as stem cells may be effective in regenerating muscle damaged by MD, due to their inherent ability to regenerate muscle tissue.
A variety of stem cell procedures may be used to treat Muscular Dystrophy by helping to produce healthy muscle fibers and reduce inflammation. When stem cells are injected directly into the muscle, they may regenerate working muscle fibers to replace the muscle fiber damaged by the disease. Stem cells may also release chemicals that reduce the inflammation caused by MD, thereby slowing the progress of the disease as inflammation increases the rate of muscular degeneration.
Regenerative Cell Institute utilizes the potential immune-modulatory and regenerative properties of stromal vascular fraction (SVF), which is rich in mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors. Once stem cells are harvested and prepared, Dr. Santos uses a targeted injection to deliver the highest concentration of stem cells and SVF to the affected muscle tissue, in addition to intravenous infusion.
Stem cell treatments for Muscular Dystrophy are completed as an outpatient procedure and stem cells are harvested from the patient, prepared, and injected in a single appointment. The treatment requires local anesthesia and generally lasts 3 hours.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Santos, or to learn more about Regenerative Cell Institute’s stem cell therapy for Muscular Dystrophy, please contact us.