What is Muscular dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic diseases that affect skeletal muscles and often also heart muscle. The symptoms include muscle weakness and progressive muscle wasting. Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common and a very severe form of the disease. It is caused by a genetic fault which prevents the production of a protein called dystrophin. Without dystrophin, muscles are fragile and are easily damaged. Over time so much damage builds up that the body can’t repair it and muscles waste away, causing progressive disability in patients.
Traditional way of treating Macular dystrophy?
There is no cure for any form of muscular dystrophy, but medications and therapy can slow the course of the disease. Human trials of gene therapy with the dystrophin gene are on the near horizon. For instance, scientists are researching ways to insert a working dystrophin gene into the muscles of boys with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies.
Researchers are investigating the potential of certain muscle-building medicines to slow down or reverse the progression of muscular dystrophy. Other trials are looking into the effects of the dietary supplements creatine and glutamine on muscle energy production and storage.
How Stem Cell cure Muscular Dystrophy?
These muscles are the bundles of the packed cells known as muscle fiber cells. Due to different types of genetic manipulations, cells of the muscles are lost in neuromuscular degenerative diseases such as Muscular Dystrophy. There are some stored cells known as the stem cells or satellite cells which are responsible for production of dead muscle fiber cells to cope up with the damage. In case of MD, when cells are damaged, they activate these stem cells to form new muscle fibers or fuse with the existing cells to repair the damage. However, over the period of time the damage is so high that the reserved quota of stem cells is always not sufficient to manage.
Scientists have proved that our body has different sources of stem cells in different organs which are not being utilized by them. These sources of stem cells can now be exploited to isolate rich population of stem cells which when infused into the muscles can replace the damaged muscle cells with healthy muscular fibers and reduced the inflammation associated with the muscular dystrophy thereby slowing the progression of the disease.