In Canada, researchers from the University of Toronto have collaborated with Ottawa Hospital have linked stem cells to a possible breakthrough in the treatment of age-related osteoporosis, which is also known as brittle bone disease.
The condition affects many millions of people worldwide, with women being particularly affected. Whilst certain lifestyle interventions have been shown to promote positive bone health, an effective treatment for age-related osteoporosis has not yet been identified.
However, the Canadian research team, hypothesising that deficiencies in mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have a causal influence on the onset of age-related osteoporosis, injected MSC into mice with damaged bone, which resulted in healthy bone being reformed over a period of 6 months, significantly more than the general increase in bone health the researchers had hoped for.
The trial has been repeated on a cohort of elderly people, and the results – if similar to that of the results observed in mice – could form the basis of new methods of treating or postponing the onset of osteoporosis.
Scott Wolf, CEO and Director of Research for Grace Century, commented ?The range of conditions that stem cell therapy can potentially help to treat grows broader and broader all the time. It will be interesting to see just how many conditions will be routinely and successfully treated by stem cell therapy techniques, in 3, 5 10, and 20 years time.?