There, I got your attention. Sex is great; “recreational” drug use is bad; while stem cells are good. What led me to choose this subject matter is based on the headline news this past week. Researchers have shown that while low “T” adversely affects a male (Testosterone) with a loss of muscle mass and an expanding midsection, loss of libido is related to low estrogen levels as well. In Illinois, the legal debate in State Government about medical marijuana is now expanding to de-criminalizing recreational usage. Then there was the September 11, 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal, New Promise for Stem Cells.

Why do I rate stem cells as good and not great?  “ The long-term dream of stem-cell science has been to transplant lab-made tissue into patients, but despite years of experiments the quality of such tissue remains poor.” The Journal reports an alternative approach in which scientists at the Salk Institute made fresh tissue inside the animal model itself by converting cells in a mature animal into stem-like cells, turning back the clock so to speak. At Regenexx-Chicago, we do not seek to create fresh tissue or organs, our goal is to repair the joint damaged by arthritis or trauma. In the last month, we have updated our management of the bone marrow aspirate concentrate allowing us to significantly increase the potential success of an intervention. At the same time, we have been able to change the methodology of activation of Platelet Rich Plasma and thereby offer a quantitative and qualitative improvement in liberation of growth factors from the platelets.

Clinical Pearls

Not all patients are candidates for successful outcomes after stem cell intervention; but the potential expansion of our scope of care will be dictated by monitoring the successes and failures of the aforementioned improved techniques. As a potential candidate for stem cells success, you may greatly improve the success by losing weight and addressing your fitness prior to an intervention.  Drugs are bad, both recreational as well as those taken through a physician’s prescription. By improving your fitness and decreasing your weight, you will be able to eliminate many prescription pharmaceuticals in your medicine case; and at the same time, improve the chances of success with our contemporary bone marrow aspirate concentrate, stem cell intervention for the limitations imposed by arthritis.

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