Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common respiratory condition that affects around 15 million Americans. This illness is characterized by a degradation of the flexible tissues inside the lung, which leads to a reduction in airflow and oxygen exchange capability. This is why most of the affected patients suffer from symptoms like chronic cough, expectoration, and a lack of oxygen.
The current medical approach to managing COPD consists of controlling symptoms. Although this symptom control allows for a better quality of life, it doesn't lead to an improvement in the overall condition. Meaning the damage already present is not to be reverted. And the normal course of the disease is the worsening of the condition as age passes. This is why one of the most promising therapies is stem cell treatment for COPD.
What are the benefits of stem cell treatment for COPD?
One type of cell known as stem cell has the capacity to repeatedly divide in order to develop into a fully developed and distinct cell. Maintaining cell regeneration is the most crucial role of stem cells. Stem cells are assumed to aid in tissue maintenance and repair because they are present in the majority of bodily tissues from the time of conception until adulthood. This repairing effect of stem cells is what led scientists to theorize about their effects on damaged lungs thanks to COPD.
Research on stem cell treatment for COPD is still ongoing. But the current findings show an improvement in overall lung structure and function. This is caused by a reduction in the death of lung cells, accompanied by a proliferation of new cells that can repair old damaged structures. These changes lead to improved lung function and oxygen exchange, which result in a reduction of overall lung tissue inflammation.
Additionally, stem cell transplants may help control oxidative stress in lung tissue. This is crucial because oxidative stress will cause cell damage and further aggravate the inflammatory response in the lung. Which ends up creating an imbalance in its normal functions like mucus production or contaminants clearance. This leads to the destruction of the lung structure and an overall reduction in oxygen exchange function.
All of these findings seem to show improvement with the use of stem cell therapy. Also, these same studies have not found negative effects regarding the use of this therapy. Meaning it is a promising alternative for people trying to go beyond controlling the symptoms.
Contact a medical professional for more information on COPD stem cell treatment.