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Stem Cell Therapy | Ohio Stem Cell

Posted: April 17, 2019 at 12:49 am

Amniotic regenerative cell therapy is one of the newest and most cutting-edge therapies for chronic joint pain. Amniotic derived regenerative cell therapy offers patients 3 essential properties for healing and restoring joint health:

Since amniotic derived regenerative cell therapy is not derived from embryonic stem cells or fetal tissue, there are no ethical issues with the treatment. The amniotic regenerative cell therapy consists of an injection directly into the painful area. The therapy has the potential to actually alter the course of the condition and not simply mask the pain. This therapy has significant potential for those in pain, and could actually repair structural problems while treating pain and inflammation simultaneously. When the amniotic cell material is obtained, it comes from consenting donors who have undergone elective c-sections. The fluid is processed at an FDA regulated lab, and is checked for a full slate of diseases per FDA guidelines. The amniotic material has been used over 60,000 times in the US with no adverse events reported. It acts as an immunologically privileged material, meaning it has NOT been shown to cause any rejection reaction in the body. This means there is no graft versus host problem.

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Stem Cell Therapy | Ohio Stem Cell

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Mayo Clinic Q and A: Stem cell therapy for arthritis Mayo …

Posted: April 17, 2019 at 12:49 am

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: Whats the latest information on using stem cell therapy to treat an arthritic shoulder that causes excessive pain?

ANSWER: New efforts in regenerative medicine, including stem cell therapy, could dramatically affect orthopedic surgery over the coming years. Much of this hope is pinned on using stem cells to treat degenerative conditions such as shoulder arthritis. Although it shows promise, stem cell treatment for arthritis isnt widely available at this time, as its still being researched.

Stem cells are the basic building blocks of all human tissue. Stem cells hold potential as treatment, in part, because they can communicate valuable information about tissue growth and healing to other cells in the body. Arthritis involves joint degeneration due to loss of the cartilage that cushions bones. Recently researchers have begun to look to stem cells for orthopedic conditions such as shoulder arthritis. Progress using stem cells to treat arthritis already has been reported, with the ultimate goal of using stem cells to regrow cartilage.

When discussing stem cell therapy, its important to understand that pure stem cells are not currently available to U.S. patients outside of a clinical research study. A handful of clinical research trials, monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are ongoing at this time to study stem cell treatment for arthritis. The early findings from these trials are encouraging.

Unfortunately, the excitement surrounding emerging stem cell therapy has led some patients and health care providers to overlook the lack of scientific evidence to support its use at this time. Stem cell therapies currently used outside clinical studies do not contain pure stem cells. Instead, they are a mix of a variety of cells, of which only a very small percentage are stem cells. It is possible that many of these treatments do not contain enough stem cells to help.

It is also important to recognize that many stem cell therapies now marketed directly to patients are conducted without the required biologics license from the FDA. Also, some forms of mislabeled stem cell therapies do not contain any living stem cells. Such practices are cause for concern, as these treatments can mislead patients and the public, and delay the scientific progress needed to turn stem cell therapies into cures.

What the research into stem cells and arthritis shows is that there are opportunities for stem cell treatment to be used as injection therapy alone and in addition to orthopedic surgical procedures. Successful stem cell therapies thus far have resulted mostly in pain relief and improvement in function or quality of life. Only a few limited early studies have demonstrated improvement in new cartilage or bone formation needed to cure arthritis. Exactly how that cartilage regrowth occurs, or even how pain relief is achieved, is still unknown. That means if you have a stem cell procedure, it will be used to treat the symptoms of arthritis only. The ability to cure the disease entirely is not yet available.

No major research studies have specifically investigated stem cell treatment for shoulder arthritis. Much of what is known about stem cells in arthritis comes from research into knee degeneration. Its not known if the successes treating knee arthritis will prove to be similarly beneficial when used for the shoulder. Therefore, current recommendations to treat shoulder arthritis remain the judicious use of gentle pain relievers, exercise and occasional steroid injections. In severe cases, shoulder replacement can provide long-lasting pain relief.

With demonstrable safety and mounting evidence of the effectiveness of stem cell therapy for some orthopedic conditions, potentially all orthopedic disease could be treated with stem cell therapy in the future. But, first, doctors and patients will have to wait until the scientific evidence catches up to the excitement around this promising option. Dr. Shane Shapiro, Orthopedic Surgery and Center for Regenerative Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida

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Pharmacogenomics: What Is It and How Does DNA Testing for …

Posted: April 16, 2019 at 2:53 am

Pharmacogenomics, or the study of how genetics affect your bodys response to medications, is a relatively new and exciting field of science. Scientists are learning more each day about how genetic testing can be used to select the best medication for patients. Genetic testing can help a doctor determine whether a medication will be effective for a patient and provide dosing guidance. It can also help alert clincians to medications that might be potentially harmful to patients.

Genetic testing has become increasingly popular among doctors who prescribe psychiatric medication, in particular antidepressants. Finding the right mental health medication can sometimes be a slow process full of unpleasant side effects. Roughly 40% of people who take an antidepressant will stop taking the medication within the first three months because of side effects or because they believe the medication is ineffective. People who take antidepressants often complain of unpleasant side effects like nausea, sexual dysfunction, headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth, and increased anxiety. When a person experiences side effects, it is easy for them to become discouraged and assume that no medication will help their condition.

Side effects sometimes occur because people metabolize medications differently depending on their genetic code. For example, some people might metabolize an antidepressant more slowly, and a higher concentration of the medication in their body can cause unpleasant side effects. People who metabolize a medication very quickly might have fewer side effects but might need more of the medication to effectively treat depressive symptoms. Therefore, doctors are increasingly recommending genetic testing for depression medications to find the proper dosage and the right medication which may result in fewer side effects.

Take our 2-minute Depression quiz to see if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.

Genetic testing is designed to be easy and painless. To complete the test, a laboratory collects a small sample of blood or saliva from the patient. The sample is usually sent to a pharmacogenomic testing laboratory to be analyzed. This lab sequences the DNA and analyzes any variations or changes in specific genes that are associated with how you respond to a particular medication. Testing for a specific kind of medication only has to be done once, but you may require additional pharmacogenomic testing if your doctor wants to evaluate you for another type of medication.

Because the field is still in its infancy, there is not pharmacogenomic testing available for every medication. But genetic testing is available for many of the medications that treat psychiatric conditions including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here are just a few of the many psychiatric medications currently available for testing:

It is important to note that genetic testing is not always completely accurate. Because the field is still new, there are only a few studies supporting the claim that patients who undergo genetic testing for medication will have more positive outcomes than patients who do not. There also are limitations to what genetic testing can tell you about how your body will metabolize a medication. There is not one pharmacogenomic test that will provide information about all medications so you may need more than one test if you are taking more multiple meds. And, some medications cant be tested using this method (i.e. aspirin and other over-the-counter pain relievers).

Sometimes genes have a strong influence over how the medication works, and sometimes other factors are more influential. These factors can include gender, age, nutrition, smoking history, and pregnancy. Your other medical conditions and any medications you takeboth prescription and over-the-countercan also affect how medications are metabolized. Your doctor may take all of these factors into consideration when they prescribe you a medication and when they consider whether to recommend that you complete genetic testing.

Insurance coverage for genetic testing may vary depending on your insurance plan and personal history. You or your doctor may be required to submit documentation proving that you have a certain diagnosis or have experienced difficulty finding the right medication. It may be helpful to ask your healthcare provider for the specific procedure and medical billing codes for the lab tests theyd like to order before calling your insurance company about coverage. If your insurance doesnt cover the cost, check with the genetic testing company to see if they offer any payment assistancethese tests can cost a few hundred dollars.

Treating mental illness usually involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and psychoeducation. So its important to participate in other kinds of treatment and self-care activities while taking medication. Your diet, sleep, exercise, and other factors can also play a role in your mood and how your body responds to medication. As your body ages and develops, you may also find that medications will need to be adjusted by your doctor.

Talk to your doctor about whether genetic testing could be useful for helping you find the right medication. Patients who are in crisis or who have a history of difficulty in finding the right medication are sometimes more likely to be recommended for genetic testing. Your primary care doctor may also have to refer you to a psychiatrist to provide more specialized knowledge in selecting a medication or to evaluate whether genetic testing could be beneficial.

To prepare for your appointment, you may want to prepare notes about the following information:

Genetic testing isnt a magic solution to a persons mental health challenges, but it can sometimes provide your doctor with important information about how your body will metabolize certain medications. Many people, however, find the right medication for their symptoms without the use of genetic testing. So dont be discouraged if it is not an option or not covered by your insurance. It never hurts, however, to start a conversation with your doctor about your options. The testing may not inform him of the perfect medication, but it can alert a physician as to what medications are likely to cause adverse effects or be ineffective. So dont hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider about whether you might benefit from pharmacogenomic testing.

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018

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Acquisition Of Futurism Suggests A Different Model For Digital-Media …

Posted: April 16, 2019 at 2:52 am

Not all digital media businesses are bloated, cash-burning hype machines that eventually collapse under their own weight amid apocalyptic warnings that no business model exists.

Not all of them ride high for a brief, shining moment in the chase formedia coverage and traffic, only to have the rug pulled out when Google or Facebook adjust their algorithms. And not all visionary founders end up with adisappointing exit.

Futurism Founder Alex Klokus.

If the product mix is right, and aggregating traffic at all costs isn't the objective, there's a chance to succeed as a businessand to make a difference. That's one takeaway from last month's sale of, a four-year-old site dedicated to coverage of science, to Singularity University, the technology-education community designed to facilitate global collaboration and innovation. SU offers courses, events and other activities, and is organized around local chapters. It was founded in 2008 by the author and futurist Peter Diamandis and the inventor, technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil. It's backed by Google and Deloitte.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

New York City-based, with an audience of 10 million readers, gives SU a media platformofferingscience-oriented news and perspective. It also gives Singularity University access to branded-content capabilities that SU can offer to its clients and members.

Specifically, acquired three distinct Futurism units:

Media & Editorial.SU willuse Futurisms website to reach a much broader audience.In addition,SU enterprise customers get access to a targeted, engaged audience with a curiosity about the future and technology.

Creative Services.Futurisms team crafts custom digital assetsfor corporate clients.Anin-house team creates sizzle reels, campaigns, and unique content.

Film & Studio.Futurism produces short films and documentaries on technology innovation.

Gravity Products, Futurisms direct-to-consumer product company and home to the best-selling Gravity Blanket,was not part of the acquisition.

"At a time when so many publishers are facing strong headwinds, we see nothing but potential in joining the SU family, says Futurism founderAlex Klokus. "When I launched it a few years agopeople had no idea about the amount of change that was coming. We really try to make science cool and interesting again."

Futurism started in 2014 as a science page on Reddit. Every week for nearly 18 months, Klokus says, he posted a feature called "This Week in Science." The Reddit page was parlayed into a similar page on Facebook, and from there it expanded into a full-fledged businesswith Futurism Studios, a video-production operation, and branded content.

However, Futurism spokesman Matt Van Hoven says, Facebookforced a reckoningwith analgorithm change in 2018 that deemphasized publisher content, andFuturism had a decision to make:Either build organically or turn to another platform as a proxy for Facebook.

Futurism chose the former. It worked to build up itscoverage and increase brand content. It brought in Foster Kamer, a veteranof Gawker, Complex, Mashable, The Observerand other brands, and added James Del, another Gawker veteran, as publisher. The company now has 20 employees, and the strategy culminated in thesale toSingularity University.

The key to this outcome, Kamer suggests, was to focusto stop chasing traffic. "We had to reorient away from Facebook," he says. "We had to become more niche, and focus on doing more for fewer people. Theres power in the idea of being a quality publication people choose to find. Theres power intypingaURL inthe spacebar."

"We want to become part of peoples lives like that," Kamer continues. "Forget about gadget news, forget about video games, youll never read that on our site. Youre going to read about AI, blockchain, the future of transportation, cybersecurity, and morein a more fun way than scholarly journals."

Going forward,he says, the 2019 plan includes an old-school op-ed page. It'll be heavily curated, and willincorporate the voices of Singularity University leaders on many topics, whether crypto currency, AI, or emerging biotechnology. "We now have access to a lot of expertise that we didnt have before," Kamer says.

SU won't get involved in content creation at Futurism, andall Futurism units will continue to operate under the Futurism name.

From the business side its similar, Del saysthere's a lot of synergy between the kinds of companies Futurism has worked with and those that Singularity works with. So the goal will be to provideSingularity clients access tothe Futurism studios, and get Futurism clients into Singularity events and other programs. In addition, Del says, Futurism will be launching a new vertical coverage area,specifically in medical technology.

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What Is Regenerative Medicine? | Regenerative Medicine at the …

Posted: April 15, 2019 at 9:48 am

Regenerative medicine seeks to replace tissue or organs that have been damaged by disease, trauma, or congenital issues, vs. the current clinical strategy that focuses primarily on treating the symptoms. The tools used to realize these outcomes are tissue engineering, cellular therapies, and medical devices and artificial organs.

Combinations of these approaches can amplify our natural healing process in the places it is needed most, or take over the function of a permanently damaged organ. Regenerative medicine is a relatively new field that brings together experts in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, genetics, medicine, robotics, and other fields to find solutions to some of the most challenging medical problems faced by humankind.

When injured or invaded by disease, our bodies have the innate response to heal and defend. What if it was possible to harness the power of the body to heal and then accelerate it in a clinically relevant way? What if we could help the body heal better?

The promising field of Regenerative Medicine is working to restore structure and function of damaged tissues and organs. It is also working to create solutions for organs that become permanently damaged. The goal of this approach is to find a way to cure previously untreatable injuries and diseases.

1. Tissue Engineering and BiomaterialsTissue engineering is a strategy where biologically compatible scaffolds are implanted in the body at the site where new tissue is to be formed. If the scaffold is in the geometric shape of the tissue that needs to be generated, and the scaffold attracts cells the outcome is new tissue in the shape desired. If the newly forming tissue is subjected to exercise as it forms, the outcome can be new functional engineered issue.

Millions of patients have been treated with some form of tissue engineered devices, yet the field is in its infancy. The primary success stories have been with soft tissue regeneration. To learn more about some of the promising studies and clinical trials involving tissue engineering,click here.

2. Cellular TherapiesMany millions of adult stem cells are found in every human. Our body uses stem cells as one way of repairing itself. Studies have illustrated that if adult stem cells are harvested and then injected at the site of diseased or damaged tissue, reconstruction of the tissue is feasible under the right circumstances. These cells can be collected from blood, fat, bone marrow, dental pulp, skeletal muscle and other sources. Cord blood provides yet another source of adult stem cells. Scientists and clinicians are developing and refining their ability to prepare harvested stem cells to be injected into patients to repair diseased or damaged tissue.

To learn more about some of the promising studies and clinical trials involving cellular therapies,click here.

3. Medical Devices and Artificial OrgansIn cases where an organ fails, the predominant clinical strategy is to transplant a replacement organ from a donor. The principal challenges are the availability of donor organs, and the requirement that the donor take immunosuppression drugswhich have side effects. Further, there are many instances where the time to find a suitable donor organ requires an interim strategy to support or supplement the function of the failing organ until a transplantable organ is found. Using circulatory support as an example, there are technologies in various stages of maturity, initially using ventricular assist devices (VADs) as a bridge to a heart transplant, and now there are VADs that are used for long-term circulatory support (destination therapy).

Scientists and clinicians around the world are developing and evaluation devices to supplement or to replace the function of many organ systems including the heart, lung, liver and kidney.

To learn more about some of the promising studies and clinical trials involving medical devices and artificial organs, click here.

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Texas Tech Medical School, Under Pressure From Education Dept …

Posted: April 14, 2019 at 11:48 am

Soon after, the Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and Texas Tech University, the undergraduate campus in the Texas Tech system, announced that they would begin considering race in admissions. Mr. Clegg challenged the decision on the ground that race should be used only as a last resort.

But for the fall 2014 class, the undergraduate campus removed any consideration of race in admissions. As a result, the Education Department dismissed the case.

The department continued to investigate the Health Sciences Center, and found that the medical school was continuing to use race-conscious admissions, according to documents in the case.

The policies had a significant effect on the makeup of the medical school. Enrollment went from 9 percent Hispanic in the class that entered in 2004 to 16 percent in the class that entered in 2018. The university said that it was trying to recruit more Hispanic students in part to send more people to practice medicine in underserved communities in West Texas, according to documents in the case.

Mr. Clegg said the investigation, which had begun during the George W. Bush administration, had lasted through the Obama years, which suggests that even under a liberal Democratic administration, there were problems with admissions practices.

The medical school defended race-conscious admissions by saying it needed to recruit students who showed the cultural sensitivity that would allow them to serve racially diverse patients, according to a letter from the Education Departments civil rights office. Federal officials were concerned that the medical schools admissions process violated civil rights law.

Eric D. Bentley, vice chancellor and general counsel of the Texas Tech University System, said in a letter to the civil rights office that while the medical school believed it was in compliance with the law, it was agreeing to stop using race in admissions in an effort to resolve this matter and focus on educating future health care providers.

The decision was effective March 1, according to the agreement, and set a deadline of Sept. 1 to revise all admissions and recruitment materials to reflect the changes. It did not, the agreement said, constitute an admission that the university had run afoul of civil rights law.

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