Kidney transplantation is becoming more popular. High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are on the rise in the Western world, leading to an increase in kidney disease rates. However, there aren’t enough organ donors to satisfy the demand. Stem cell-based treatments may be a viable option.
Kidney failure affects more than 660,000 Americans each year, resulting in roughly 47,000 fatalities. Despite the fact that kidney failure may be caused by a variety of factors, the current therapy is rather consistent. While waiting for a transplant, patients often need weekly dialysis, which may cost up to $80,000 per year. Thankfully, advancements in stem cell research have yielded some promising results in the treatment of renal failure.
Kidneys that are in good working order filter waste and surplus fluids from the body. Various diseases, however, may harm the kidneys, causing an accumulation of excess fluids, waste, and electrolytes. This may have a variety of negative effects on the body. Even while the kidneys have a limited capacity to regenerate on their own, the damage produced by kidney disease ultimately overwhelms the organs. As a consequence, the patient requires external dialysis to survive and, ultimately, a complete organ transplant. Kidney disease has several causes, but diabetes is responsible for almost half of all kidney failure cases.
What role do stem cells play in the treatment of renal disease?
Stem cell treatment is anti-inflammatory, lowering chronic inflammation levels in the body to levels that enable healing to take place when it would otherwise be impossible. Inflammation levels would be high throughout the body if you have Kidney Disease. The body may begin to repair the tissue needed for proper function by decreasing inflammatory indicators to normal levels.
Scientists are trying to figure out how to replenish the cells in the kidneys that help in organ regeneration. Specific mesenchymal cells, a kind of stem cell that plays an important role in kidney repair, have recently been discovered by Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers. These stem cells may be implanted into the body to stimulate kidney tissue repair and decrease overall inflammation. Furthermore, stem cells have previously been utilised in combination with organ transplants to remove the need for immunosuppressive medications for the rest of one’s life.
Is it possible to treat renal illness using stem cells?
Kidney disease is difficult to research and treat since the kidneys are complex organs that perform important filtering tasks in the body. Because scientists have yet to identify the particular cells responsible for kidney healing, only broad systemic stem cell treatment is now available to address these problems.
A realistic result of stem cell therapy would be a significant decrease in inflammatory markers and a modest improvement in kidney function when compared to pre-treatment values. This would probably not be enough to get a patient off dialysis after only one treatment, but it would be a start toward reducing dialysis frequency.