Rheumatoid arthritis affects a large population in the world. However, current drugs, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NASID), disease-altering anti-inflammatory drugs, and newer biologic drugs, have not had a satisfactory treatment effect in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, resulting in high rates of disability.
Stem cells are a group of many functional cells with the ability to self-renew and differentiate. There are several types of stem cells, including hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, nerve stem cells, and others.
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Over the past 1-2 decades, the scientific community has observed and reported the emergence of several sources of stem cells with osteogenic and chondrogenic potential that can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are sufficient to treat connective tissue disorders such as blood, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, nerves, muscles, and liver.
In one study, animals were given mesenchymal stem cells, which showed that MSCs were useful for inhibiting inflammation and for relieving collagen-mediated arthritis.
The researchers also found that navel stem cells can inhibit the growth of immune cells in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Clinically, autologous stem cell therapy is used in RA patients.
The results showed that joint pain disappeared five days after treatment and the white stem cell count increased to more than 1.0 × 109 / L ten days after treatment, suggesting that stem cell therapy can be an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.