Regenerative Medicine and Human Neural Networks

Regenerative medicine has reached another milestone. Scientist from the University of California San Diego have demonstrated neural network activity which mimics early human brain activity. Using pluripotent stem cells the researchers were able to place them in an environment which promoted the development of brain tissue. The development progressed far enough to actually begin demonstrating neural network activity. These were observed using EEG technology. While these group of neural cells are only about the size of a pea, this is a huge development in using regenerative medicine to create human brain tissue.

exercise healthy mind

Exercise and well being

The physical health benefits of exercise are widely understood and agreed upon. The benefits of exercise for a healthy mind is also commonly understood. A new research study from the journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine from this year have demonstrated this healthy benefit for the mind through scientific research. Practitioners at inpatient psychiatric facilities acquired baseline reporting for their patients feelings. They measured levels of anger,  anxiety, depression, self-esteem and overall moods. They had roughly 100 patients exercise routinely in a gym for 30 minutes a day and then re-evaluated there in patients experiences. They found a significant reduction in negative feelings and an increase in their feelings of well-being. Overall patients were very pleased with structural exercises and the doctors saw a decrease in the amount of time they needed to be in the hospital and hopefully a reduction in the medications that were needed. Checking with the physician before beginning an exercise program is an important part. Exercise is good for the body and the mind. Self esteem and feeling good about yourself are both very important.

self esteem well being

Chicago Aesthetics Conference

Dr. AJ Cummings attended a medical aesthetics conference in Chicago last weekend. The latest techniques for fillers and Botox were reviewed as well as Skin Rejuvenation with laser therapy. Valuable time was also spent with colleagues discussing some of the many clinical results experienced with different PRP uses. Specifically micro-needling with platelet-rich plasma which DaVinci Medical has been offering as anesthetics option for skin rejuvenation.

Hair restoration research with medications

Cosmetic hair restoration is an issue that many men and women suffer with with male pattern baldness and thinning hair. A group of researchers at the University of Manchester published a study showing how the side effects of some medications can actually be used to help stimulate hair growth. A drug that has been around since the 1980’s called Cyclosporine A had a side effect of patients having hair growth. The researchers discovered that the drug has in it an inhibitory mechanism that stops the body from using a certain protein that inhibits the growth of hair cells. The researchers used donated human hair follicles and found they promoted the human hair growth in the laboratory. Further research is needed.

Minimally invasive procedures which promote blood circulation in the scalp and stimulate growth factors include micro-needling with or without platelet rich plasma PRP.

  1. Nathan J. Hawkshaw, Jonathan A. Hardman, Iain S. Haslam, Asim Shahmalak, Amos Gilhar, Xinhong Lim, Ralf Paus. Identifying novel strategies for treating human hair loss disorders: Cyclosporine A suppresses the Wnt inhibitor, SFRP1, in the dermal papilla of human scalp hair folliclesPLOS Biology, 2018; 16 (5): e2003705 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003705

Rotator Cuff Tears and Stem Cells

Regenerative medicine with stem cells for rotator cuff injuries is being researched. Rotator cuff injuries are a common problem with the shoulder. The rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons which provide stability for the shoulder and allows extensive movement. The rotator cuff is prone to injury either through something abruptly happening or wear and tear or a combination of both. Often these injuries are difficult to heal and sometimes require surgery. In regenerative medicine, the body's own healing potentials are attempted to be harnessed. Stem cells can grow into different types of cells. Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed the stem cells that surround the rotator cuff and found that there were markers present that were more likely to produce new fat growth instead of new muscle growth when compared to other stem cells around other muscles in the body. This sheds light on to the possibility of taking stem cells from a different part of the body and placing them near the rotator cuff to help develop stronger muscle and tendon.

https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00004623-201902060-00004

Identifying higher risk prostate cancer patients

A study that was published in the January issue of Mayo Clinic proceedings indicated genetic alterations maybe used as a marker in determining higher risk prostate cancer patients. When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer and it is felt to be lower risk, treatment decisions have to be made between them and their doctor. The publication indicated that genetic markers may be analyzed in these patients to help determine if they should be more aggressive with their treatment or not. This is good news for men's health and working with their physician.

https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(18)30546-9/fulltext

Elevated levels of a newly discovered molecule responsible for aging bones

As we age, our bodies increasingly produce a molecule that suppresses certain functions. As levels of this regulatory molecule rise, key signalling molecules that mediate bone growth decline. Older bodies suppress stem cell production on a molecular level, scientists report. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University have uncovered exciting evidence of systemic alterations that occur with age. Their work has revealed how bones weaken and deteriorate in the aging body. One molecule in particular - microRNA-141-3P - appears to accumulate in bone tissue over time. Scientists have found that elevated levels of microRNA-141-3P are associated with osteoporosis and assorted bone pathology. The problematic molecule inhibits the absorption of vitamin C by various bone cells. It prevents the skeleton from effectively utilizing vitamin C - slowly starving bones of a much needed nutrient. This systemic shift in nutrition limits the resources available for normal bone growth. Over time, aging bones weaken and osteoporosis can develop. Researchers suspected that suppressing microRNA-141-3P could keep bones processing vitamin C and regenerating themselves for far longer than they would under normal aging conditions. Rodent test subjects were treated with a clinical grade inhibitor of microRNA-141-3P; the result was younger, stronger bones. Scientists theorize that a similar inhibiting medication could be used in human subjects to reverse and prevent bone deterioration. The research is compelling and paints an optimistic picture of beneficial anti-aging therapy. Development and distribution of this drug are likely far in the future. Nevertheless, the research indicates that scientists may be able to keep bones younger, for longer. By regulating a single key component of a complex cellular network, bone aging may be prevented.
  1. Sudharsan Periyasamy-Thandavan, John Burke, Bharati Mendhe, Galina Kondrikova, Ravindra Kolhe, Monte Hunter, Carlos M Isales, Mark W Hamrick, William D Hill, Sadanand Fulzele. MicroRNA-141-3p negatively modulates SDF-1 expression in age dependent pathophysiology of human and murine bone marrow stromal cellsThe Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gly186