A review of the literature on the use of PRP in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia found that it had a considerable benefit with no serious side effects. A lecture by Dr. Deirdre Hooper at the 16th Annual ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetics and Surgical Conference is summarised and discussed the benefits of PRP for hair loss and other cosmetic uses.
Significant research is underway in Regenerative Medicine to use neural stem cells or neural precursor cells to repair spinal cord injuries or diseases. One of the issues to address has been the delivery method to get these stem cells and growth factors into the spinal cord. Stem cells are able to generate into different types of functional cells. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a method to inject growth factors and draw in Stem Cells. One of the differential cells down the line are neural precursor cells. Stem cells differentiate into other types of cells in part because of the environment or types of cells that are surrounding them.
There is an inherent risk when injecting stem cells into or around the spinal cord as the needle itself can cause damage to the spinal cord or cause bleeding in the area. Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have been conducting new delivery techniques play stem cells in and around injured spinal cords. They have been experimenting on mice trying to find a precise delivery method for the spinal stem cells which minimize the risk of spinal cord injury. They have developed a new technique which is less invasive, where they inject the cells into a tiny space just above the spinal cord. This anatomical space is called the spinal subpial space. When neural stem cells are placed in this area they are able to migrate into the damaged or diseased areas and take on the regenerative properties of the cells around them with the goal to become functional healthy neural cells. Further research is planned on different animal models with anatomy resembling human structures.
Martin Marsala, Kota Kamizato, Takahiro Tadokoro, Michael Navarro, Stefan Juhas, Jana Juhasova, Silvia Marsala, Hana Studenovska, Vladimir Proks, Tom Hazel, Karl Johe, Manabu Kakinohana, Shawn Driscoll, Thomas Glenn, Samuel Pfaff, Joseph Ciacci. Spinal parenchymal occupation by neural stem cells after subpial delivery in adult immunodeficient rats. STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, 2019; 9 (2): 177 DOI: 10.1002/sctm.19-0156
A better understanding of lipids cellular metabolism may have clinical applications with regenerative medicine in the future. A recent article published in the journal Nature Medicine investigates an interesting question. Why do many older people struggle to keep from gaining excess weight? This longitudinal study took place over a 13-year period and they studied the fat cells of 54 men and 41 women who had gastric bypass type surgery. They found that over time the rate of lipid turnover in these individuals slowed up. This decreasing rate of processing fat appeared to be an independent variable on a cellular level. It also suggested that one way to increase lipid metabolism is regular exercise.
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.
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.
- 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 follicles. PLOS Biology, 2018; 16 (5): e2003705 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003705
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.
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.
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.
- 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 cells. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/gerona/gly186
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have been experimenting with mouse mitochondrial DNA. When they introduce a mutation into this gene sequence, mice develop hair loss and wrinkles. When this gene mutation is reversed and turned back on to normal, the mice returned to smooth skin and normal fur again. They also noticed that the mice seemed to have less energy and move more slowly. What is interesting is that these external signs of aging were able to be reversed.
Bhupendra Singh, Trenton R. Schoeb, Prachi Bajpai, Andrzej Slominski, Keshav K. Singh. Reversing wrinkled skin and hair loss in mice by restoring mitochondrial function. Cell Death & Disease, 2018; 9 (7) DOI: 10.1038/s41419-018-0765-9
DaVinci Med Spa offers light therapy as a modality or as an add on to procedures. According to WebMD in an article titled Testing Potential Uses for Light Therapy, “For instance, when longer wavelength or visibly “red” light hits the skin, it nudges mitochondria (the cell’s powerhouses) to make energy more efficiently and boost production of healing anti-inflammatories or disease-fighting antioxidants.”