Am I Too Old for Stem Cell Therapy?
Whether you have been putting off treatment for a degenerative joint condition or are looking for alternatives to an invasive surgical procedure, stem cell therapy may be a potential option to explore. However, you may be worried if you think that your age will make you ineligible for this innovative treatment option.
While there are a few scenarios that may prevent you from receiving stem cells, your age is certainly not one of them. Many patients who receive stem cell therapies are older individuals. This intervention is particularly appealing to older patients because it involves very little downtime and is minimally invasive.
Stem cell therapy leverages your body’s natural healing process. These cells attack inflammation and have the ability to repair damaged tissues. The versatility of stem cells allows them to be used to treat a variety of conditions, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below.
During stem cell therapy, medical professionals must first harvest biological tissue. This tissue can be retrieved from bone marrow aspirate, adipose tissue, or umbilical cords.
When harvesting stem cells from bone marrow aspirate, the medical team will retrieve the stem cells from the pelvic bone, as this large structure is one of the easiest to access. The stem cells are then separated from the bone marrow and concentrated. This compound is injected into a localized area or administered via IV.
If you elect to use adipose tissue for your stem cell therapy, the medical team will need to perform liposuction to retrieve a small quantity of subcutaneous fat. The rest of the process is similar to the procedure involving bone marrow aspirate.
The least invasive means of harvesting stem cells is to collect them from Wharton’s Jelly, which is a compound found within umbilical cords. They are from healthy c-section births and the mothers are pre-screened and tested prior. This source is more common for anyone over 65 years of age.
What Can Stem Cells Be Used to Treat?
Stem cell therapy can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including several that generally affect older patients.
A few of the conditions that may have beneficial outcomes with stem cells include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
While the exact outcomes of stem cell therapy will vary depending on patient factors and the severity of the condition being treated, this intervention does have the potential to yield positive benefits. It may slow the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, facilitate the repair of damaged tissue, and help to manage symptoms.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine, also known as stem cell therapy in Seattle. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.