Treatment of psoriasis with stem cells
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic, long-lasting autoimmune disease of the skin. According to the current estimates, from 2 to 4% of the global population are affected. While there are different types of psoriasis, 90% of the cases usually manifest as plaques (inflamed white scales) on the skin.
Psoriasis may cause not only physical but also mental discomfort, often leading to depression and problems in social adaptation.
Manifestations of psoriasis
Besides previously mentioned plaque psoriasis, which constitutes 90% of all psoriasis cases, other types of psoriasis are: pustular, inverse, napkin psoriasis (which is reported as a type affecting infants up to 2 years of age), guttate psoriasis and seborrheic-like psoriasis.
There’s also psoriatic arthritis, which involves a long-lasting chronic inflammation of the joints along with the psoriasis and there’s also nail psoriasis, which some researchers qualify as a separate form of psoriasis.
Causes of psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body attacks its own cells, perceiving them as foreign. The exact cause of psoriasis is not known, however, there are a number of theories.
Majority of the researchers currently consider psoriasis as a disease with a very strong genetic component. However, correlation with obesity, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, along with certain infections and medication has also been observed.
As of now, psoriasis can’t be cured but managed. Current approach to the management of psoriasis may involve topical treatments, light therapy and oral/injected medication. Topical treatments unfortunately will only alleviate symptoms without actually addressing the core of the problem, while medication (usually prescribed in severe cases) has severe side effects, which limit their use.
Can psoriasis be effectively managed with stem cells treatment?
The study of healthy skin donors have demonstrated that proliferative signal from T-cells of patients with psoriasis is not able to stimulate the non-psoriatic keratinocyte stem cells.
It means that if psoriatic keratinocyte stem cells from patient’s skin are replaced by new ones, it will cause the non-sensitivity of these cells to proliferative signal. Finally, the psoriatic lesions and inflammation will disappear.
In this way, stem cells derived from adipose tissue act as immune system modulators but NOT suppressors. Moreover, stem cells do not cause any allergic reactions or side effects because they originate from patient’s organism.
Adipose-derived stem cells
Clinical symptoms before and after stem cell treatment
Injections of stem cells will not only reduce the clinical manifestations of the disease but will also lead to an overall improvement of patient’s health. It’s of great importance to patients who have treated or about to be treated with immunosuppressive medication.