What is Scleroderma?
Scleroderma can be grouped into an autoimmune disease of the connective tissues. The word was first described by the Greeks, sclera meaning hard and derma meaning skin and hence hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease.
Initially, the disease was known as the progressive systemic sclerosis but the term has changed to systemic sclerosis only as it is not necessarily progressive and is patient specific. It has been confirmed that the disease is not contagious, cancerous or malignant.
How prevalent is Scleroderma?
Many surveillance systems have reported increasing evidences of connective tissue disease, scleroderma being one of them! The increased exposure of people with silica can be one of the major reasons for the increasing evidences of the disease.
The prevalence of the disease is found to be more common in women than in men, although it occurs in men and children. Certain patterns depending upon the disease type have been observed to be affecting people of some races and ethnic groups such as:
- Localized forms of the disease are found to be more common in people of European descendents as compared to people of African or American origin. Similarly, some types of the disease are more prevalent in children whereas others are commonly affecting adults.
- Systemic scleroderma is typically observed in people within the age group of 30-40 years of age. It is affecting women more of African and American origin than their European counterparts.
Factors responsible for Scleroderma
As with other autoimmune disorders, exact cause of the disease cannot be pointed out, although some facts are clear so far such as:
- It is neither contagious nor malignant.
- It is so far known to be an autoimmune disease due to the faulty immune system.
- Although, it has been observed that the expression of certain genes is responsible for putting some people at risk but there is no direct evidence detected that the disease is being passed out from parent to the child.
- Certain ongoing research has evidently suggested some of the environmental factors to be responsible for triggering the abnormality in people, who are genetically predisposed to it. These factors may include harmful chemicals, organic solvents, etc.
- Women develops the disease more than men, may be because of the tremendous hormonal ups and down during menopause, pregnancy, etc.
Symptoms Associated with the Scleroderma
The signs and symptoms of the disease are different in different localizations of the disease.
- Skin: – Hardening and tightening of the patches of the skin like oval shaped or straight lines. Sometimes, shiny appearance of the skin may be observed due to the tightness and may lead to the restricted movement of the affected area.
- Fingers or Toes: – One of the earliest signs of the disease can be an exaggerated immune response to the cold temperature or emotional distress, which can cause numbness, color changes and pain in the fingers and toes.
- Digestive system: – In addition to the acid reflux, which can damage the section of the oesophagus, some people may also develop problem absorbing nutrients if the intestinal muscles are not functioning properly.
- Heart, Lungs and kidneys: – Some of the severe forms of the disease, which are rare too can affect heart, lungs or kidneys; which can become life threatening if untreated.
What goes wrong in the Scleroderma?
Scleroderma is principally the autoimmune disease of the connective tissues of the body. The primary feature of the disease is skin thickening that can lead to the scarring, blood vessel problems, inflammation, etc.
Autoimmune diseases are the abnormality, when body’s own defence system attacks its own organs due to the genetic problems or hypersensitivity reaction of certain antibodies.
The disease can be broadly classified into systemic and localized.
Localized Scleroderma: – Restricted to only one organ of the body. It can further be divided into Morphea characterized by local oval patches of the skin and linear scleroderma that is characterized by single line or band of thickened or abnormally colored skin.
Systemic Scleroderma: – The disease is widespread to multiple internal organs, which can further be divided into limited and diffused based upon the extent of skin involvement.
The disease is mainly found to affect the fibroblast cells of the skin leading to the excess collagen production. Due to excessive elasticity, some parts of the skin become thick, tight and patchy.
How Stem Cells treatment may help!
Stem cells are the mother cells that are responsible for developing an entire human body from a tiny two celled embryo; due to their unlimited divisions and strong power to differentiate into all the cells of different lineage. This power of stem cells has been harnessed by the technology to isolate them outside the human body, concentrate in the clean environment and implant back.
Thus, stem cells treatment involves administration of concentrated cells in the targeted area, wherein they can colonize in the damaged area, adapt the properties of resident stem cells and initiate some of the lost functions that have been compromised by the disease or injury.
After years of research, it has been believed that it is better to alter the microenvironment with the application of stem cells instead of suppressing the immune system. Mesenchymal stem cells are known to have angiogenic, transdifferentiation and homing properties, which are useful for forming new blood vessels, differentiating into required targeted cells and creation of microenvironment for the faster secretion of immune cells.
Treatment of Scleroderma at GIOSTAR
We have mastered the technology for isolating maximum number of viable stem cells from either the autologous sources of your own body or allogeneically with the matched donor to treat various patients with Scleroderma. We are the licensed, private organization with the excellent, well equipped state of the art facility to isolate process and enrich the viable number of stem cells, which can be re infused back into the patient’s body. Generally, these cells are administered through any one of the below mentioned methods depending upon our expert’s advice:
- Local Administration:-Through this mode, cell are infused directly at the targeted site of injury. Thus in case of various organs, stem cells are infused directly at the target through catheter based delivery.
- Sub-Cutaneous Administration: – In case of skin; stem cells can as well be administered in the fat layer of the skin. They can help regenerating skin cells, promote restructuring of skin tissue.
- Intravenous Administration:- Through this mode, cells are infused through the veins along with the mannitol to expand blood volumes in the central nervous system, to ensure that the maximum number of cells are reaching to the targeted area.
Once infused back in the body, these cells can be repopulated at the damaged parts of the organ, through their strong paracrine effects and differentiate into lost or damaged cells to restore back the function. These cells can regulate immune system and minimize the impact of autoimmunity. One of the important properties of mesenchymal stem cells is to promote vascularisation and vessel formation, which can improve the strength of the blood vessels and also promote synthesis of new vessels. When infused in the deep layer of the skin, these stem cells are known to promote synthesis of lost fibroblasts, keratinocytes and skin epithelial cells to promote faster restructuring of cells.
Thus with our standardized, broad based and holistic approach, it is now possible to obtain noticeable improvements in the patients with the Scleroderma, in the symptoms as well as their functional abilities.
WHAT SETS US APART
- US Head quartered.
- Founder is leading stem cell scientist credited with setting up the stem cell research labs at top research institutions in US including Salk Research Institute, Sanford-Burnham Institute, UCI, UCSD.
- Medical Advisory Board comprising of luminaries from Harvard, * University of California, San Diego (UCSD), University of California Irvine (UCI), Imperial Collage, London.
- Endorsed by Honourable Prime Minister of India.
- State of the art and only private hospital in India inaugurated by Prime Minister.
- World’s largest stem cell hospital funded by government.