Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine

“What if” may be the two most powerful words in the world of research. In fact, whether or not that exact wording is used, it can be assumed that the majority of scientific discoveries have come about either directly or indirectly from someone’s curiosity about a set of circumstances.
In medicine, the on-going question of “what if” drives research into new ways to prevent, diagnose, treat, and learn about diseases and conditions that affect the human body. Once a scientist or physician starts asking questions and getting answers, the cycle simply starts over in order to improve, modify, or expand what has been learned and observed.

One area of medicine that is experiencing new advances and developments—and a host of “what if” questions—is that of regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine, simply defined, is using the body’s own cells, tissues, or organs to restore or establish normal function.
According to information from Mayo Clinic, regenerative medicine can be divided into three separate but related approaches.

This first, rejuvenation, focuses on boosting or enhancing the body’s ability to heal itself. A second approach is replacement, which uses healthy cells, tissues, or organs from a donor to replace those that are damaged or diseased. Organ transplants are examples of replacement regenerative medicine.
The third approach is regeneration. This involves introducing specific types of cells or cell products into damaged or diseased structures enabling new cells to develop, ultimately restoring the tissue or organ. Bone marrow transplants are an example of regeneration.
This regeneration, or making new cells of the type needed to heal and restore the damaged tissue, is the specific area of regenerative medicine that is currently showing much promise and progress.
“Although regenerative medicine has been around a long time, recent advances have allowed scientists to detect specific biochemical markers of stem cell components, thus promoting new and exciting concepts for using regenerative medicine in novel ways—and with a lot of success,” says Dr. Ben Taimoorazy of Guardian Headache and Pain Management Institute.

He goes on to say that these recent successes have prompted the National Institutes of Health to create a new specialty category made up of several other disciplines such as medical research, medical engineering, clinical medicine, and others to encourage new proposals and strategies for using methods such as regenerative medicine.
This category, called translational medicine, gathers representatives from different fields around a table to share ideas, strategies, and results with the ultimate goal being to expedite the process of developing a drug or treatment protocol in the research lab or in clinical research and getting it to the patient more quickly.
Currently, much research is taking place using regenerative medicine—specifically using stem cells and platelet rich plasma. Stem cells can develop into many different types of cells through a process called differentiation. Although there has been controversy about the source of some stem cells, namely umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, and placenta, everyone has their own source of stem cells, specifically in the bony hip structure, blood, and adipose tissue.

These autologous sources (meaning from the same individual) provide a veritable pharmacy that is created specifically and uniquely for the person from whom they are taken.
Recent results have shown that stem cells and platelet rich plasma from a patient’s own body can induce changes in damaged or degenerated structures to actually bring healing. Thus, in many cases, a person who has experienced an injury, developed a disease, or experienced degeneration of a body part or function may be able to provide their own “medicine.”

The variety of diseases and physical ailments that can be treated with regenerative medicine is also exciting.
Dr. Taimoorazy, an expert in treating headaches, back pain, and other musculo-skeletal issues such as osteoarthritis of the knee joint, explains: “Not only have stem cell and platelet rich plasma therapies been shown to be very effective in treating musculo-skeletal problems, many studies have shown its effectiveness in treating diseases like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS—and many others. The number of on-going studies and the types of applications is astounding.”
While not quite ready for a “wonder drug” designation, regenerative medicine shows promise for treating a diverse range of physical ills in the future.

For more information on regenerative therapies, you may contact Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy at Guardian Headache and Pain Management Institute, 309-808-1700, guardian headache and pain management institute. The practice is located at Bloomington  IL . Dr. Taimoorazy strives to increase awareness and understanding of different types of headaches and other chronic painful conditions and the available diagnostic and therapeutic options for each individual disorder.

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