Stem Cell Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Stem Cell Treatment for Degenerative Disc Disease

Degeneration of the intervertebral disc, often called "degenerative disc disease" (DDD) of the spine, is a condition that can be painful and can greatly affect the quality of one's life.


While disc degeneration is a normal part of aging and for most people is not a problem, for certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause severe constant chronic pain. Often, degenerative disc disease can be successfully treated without surgery. One or a combination of treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic manipulative therapy (CMT) and other chiropractic treatments, osteopathic manipulation, anti-inflammatory medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, traction, or spinal injections often provide adequate relief of these troubling symptoms.

Degenerative discs typically show degenerative fibrocartilage and clusters of chondrocytes, suggestive of repair. Inflammation may or may not be present. Histologic examination of disc fragments resected for presumed DDD is routine to exclude malignancy.

Fibrocartilage replaces the gelatinous mucoid material of the nucleus pulposus as the disc changes with age. There may be splits in the annulus fibrosis, permitting herniation of elements of nucleus pulposus. There may also be shrinkage of the nucleus pulposus that produces prolapse of the annulus with secondary osteophyte formation at the margins of the adjacent vertebral body.

The pathologic findings in DDD include protrusion, spondylolysis, and/or subluxation of vertebrae (sponylolisthesis) and spinal stenosis.


Stem Cell Treatment and Degenerative Disc Disease NIH Streaming Database

Related Articles Stem Cell Senescence: The Obstacle of the Treatment of Degenerative Disk Disease. Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2019 Sep 06;: Authors: Chen Y, Tang L Abstract Intervertebral disc (IVD) has a pivotal role in the maintenance of flexible motion. IVD degeneration is one of the primary causes of low back pain and disability, which seriously influences patients' health, and increases the family and social economic burden. Recently stem cell therapy has been proven to be more effective on IVD degeneration disease. However, stem cell senescence is the limiting factor in the IVD degeneration treatment. Senescent stem cells have a negative effect on the self-repair on IVD degeneration. In this review, we delineate that the factors such as telomerase shortening, DNA damage, oxidative stress, microenvironment and exosomes may induce stem cell aging. Recent studies tried to delay the aging of stem cells by regulating the expression of aging-related genes and proteins, changing the activity of telomerase, improving the survival microenvironment of stem cells and drug treatment. Understanding the mechanism of stem cell aging and exploring new approaches to delay or reverse stem cell aging informs research on the repair of the degenerated disc. PMID: 31490764 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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