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Adult stem cells can work to prevent amputations

As reported by Brenda Neugent, Diabetes Health, new stem cell research may take a step toward preventing amputations in people with diabetes, according to a new study from the National University of Ireland, Galway, which appeared in Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association’s official journal. Its research revealed that the use of adult stem cells has shown promising results in the treatment of diabetic wounds such as food ulcers, one of the primary causes of amputation.

Because the blood vessels in diabetic patients lose function, they have an impaired ability to heal wounds, especially with foot wounds, which impact up to 25 percent of those with diabetes at some point in their lifetime, and often lead to amputations. The study looked at a particular type of stem cell, known as the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC), and found that when the cells were used with a biomaterial made from collagen, there was the potential for increased wound healing. It was not therefore necessary to use foetal stem cells.

The study was led by Dr. Aonghus O’Loughlin of Molecular Medicine Ireland and Professor Timothy O’Brien of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at National University of Ireland Galway and Galway University Hospitals. Its results have allowed the team to apply for-and receive-funding for human testing. “MSC’s have many attractive therapeutic properties,” O’Brien said. “They can be isolated from adults and are easy to grow in the laboratory. It has been shown in Galway and by other scientists that they release special factors that can help new blood vessels to grow. Increasing blood flow is a key step in wound healing.”

A portion of the funding required for clinical trials has been provided by Diabetes Ireland.

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  • odloty's Comment odloty Posted On: Apr 24th, 2013 at 13:19

    When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and
    now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

  • sue's Comment sue Posted On: May 1st, 2013 at 16:03

    Pamela, sorry for the slow reply. I think you need to log in to your own settings and untick the ‘notify me’ box. I don’t think it’s something that we can do at our end — I’ve taken a look and I can’t see how! Sue

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