Within the Central Nervous System (CNS), Bone Marrow derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (BM-MSC) may promote activation of helper cells (microglia and macrophages), rescue neurons from programed cell death (apoptosis) and sometimes induce nerve growth (trophic effects).
This is exciting news for patients who suffer from ALS, spinal cord injury and stroke.
See below for disease-specific details.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries remain one of the most common physically, psychologically and socially debilitating conditions worldwide. There is some evidence that injecting bone marrow nucleated cells and MSCs intrathecally (via spinal tap) can be helpful in patients with spinal cord injury (Park, et al 2012) (Jarocha, et al, 2015). There is also evidence that early bone marrow stem cells injected into patients with spinal cord injury can help reduce neuropathic pain ( Watanabe, et al, 2015). At CSCI we offer intrathecal stem cell injections with the patient's own bone marrow stem cells via a lumbar puncture.
More recent studies from last year found some promising results with co-infusion intrathecally of adipose derived stem cells with bone marrow derived stem cells (Thakkar, et al 2016).
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide. A traumatic brain injury is a heterogeneous disorder and involves many mechanisms including cellular death, neurodegeneration, and/or blood vessel injury.
Lumbar Discogenic Low Back Pain
There is clinical research to show that percutaneously intradiscal stem cell injections of autologous bone marrow concentrate can help reduce low back pain and even improve your lumbar MRI results (Pettine et al, 2015).
Spinal arachnoiditis is also called adhesive arachnoiditis. It is a painful condition of inflammation of the nerve roots usually in the lumbosacral spine, which can cause chronic pain. We have successfully treated spinal arachnoiditis at Cedar SCI with intrathecal injections with great success. Ask us about it.