Stem Cell treatment for Muscular dystrophy (MD)
Muscular Dystrophy refers to a group of muscle destroying neuro muscular disorder disease which has no cure till date.
The cause of the disease is genetical – ‘defective gene’. The progressive deterioration usually starts with the external muscles of the body and spread to destroy the internal muscles of the lung and cardiac muscles.
Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) are the most common types of Muscular Dystrophy and also the most severe and life threatening.
Duchene Muscular Dystrophy
Onset of this disease is in early childhood (2 – 6 years)
Generalised weakness and muscle wasting affects the limbs and trunk muscles first. Calf muscles are often enlarged. The disease progresses is slow but will usually affect all voluntary muscles. Survival is rare beyond the late twenties. It is a hereditary disease supposedly inherited from the mother.
Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD)
Onset of the disease is in adulthood.
Identical to DMD but often much less severe. There can be significant heart involvements. The progress of the disease is much slower compared to DMD and the patient may survive well into mid to late childhood.
Emery Dreifuss Muscular Dystrophy (EDMD)
The onset of the disease is from childhood to early teen. The progress of the disease is slow, characterised by weakness of shoulder, upper arm and skin muscles, progressing to frequent cardiac complications.
The following tests are useful in deciding the type of Muscular Dystrophy.
- Blood Enzyne (PK test)
- DNA test
- EMG (Electromyogram) test
- Molecular genetic testing
- Muscle Biopsy
- NCV (Nerve conductive velocity) test
Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD)
The onset of the disease is from childhood to middle age.
Weakness and wasting affecting the shoulder and pelvic muscles first, progressing to cardio-pulmonary complications in the later stages of the disease.
Management of Muscular Dystrophy
There is no cure for Muscular Dystrophy till date, but exercise and physical Therapy can keep the muscles from tightening around the joints. Assisting devices like braces and wheel chairs can also help people with Muscular Dystrophy. Duchene Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) patients can take a cortisteroid medication for muscle weakness. Utmost care should be made to prevent viral infections that could progress to pneumonia.
Stemcell Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy
There is no cure for this disorder but the progress of the disease can be slowed down and improvement in quality of life of the patient is possible with stemcell therapy.
Numerous scientific studies and clinical trials all over the World have established that there can be improvements in muscle strength, posture and improvement in balance in MD patients who have received stemcell therapy treatments. Patients given stemcells intravenously have shown significant gain in function in their arms and legs.
There are primarily two main treatment protocols – One using Cord blood derived Messenchymal Stemcells and the other – Messenchymal stemcells derived from the patient’s own abdominal fat.