Neuropathic Pain and Stem Cell Research

Neuropathic Pain and Stem Cell Research


Stem cells are the primal cells found in all multi-cellular organisms and carry the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division.

In laymen terms, stem cells are a type of cells having the ability to grow and regenerate, thereby holding the possibility of being an effective therapeutic option.

There are three main types of mammalian stem cells, including embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells.

Research – The Background

Canadian scientists Ernest A. McCulloch and James E. Till basically initiated research in the human stem cell through the findings in the 1960s.

According to the specialists in medical research, the stem cell therapy can dramatically change the entire treatment plans of human disease. A series of adult stem cell therapies are already in existence, such as the bone marrow transplants which are used to treat leukemia.

The current research in the field of stem cells is aimed at deriving technologies from the stem cell research to treat a wider variety of diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, muscle damage and many more.

Neuropathic Pain and Stem Cell Research

Neuropathic pain is a complex, chronic pain state, most often accompanied by a tissue injury. A burning and shooting pain, along with a feeling of tingling and numbness, typically characterizes the condition. According to a recent survey report, there are over half a million sufferers of neuropathic pain in the UK.

The UK is now being increasingly hailed as the home ground for the stem cell research, owing to its existing infrastructure. Another additional factor being cited is the authorities’ efforts to promote the stem cell research as a priority for funding amongst other activities.

Stem cell research is one of the most promising alternatives being offered for the treatment of those central nervous system disorders, which were previously almost untreatable.

These stem cells have been exhibiting an increasing potential for curing the neuropathic pain, usually arising due to one of the following causative factors:

  • Alcoholism
  • Amputation
  • Back, leg and hip problems
  • Chemotherapy
  • Diabetes / Diabetic neuropathy
  • Facial nerve problems
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Shingles
  • Spine surgery

Stem cells have a significant potential to replace the function of damaged nerve cells. Research has demonstrated their affectivity in curing neuropathic pain which manifests itself in the following common forms:

  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy/nerve trauma
  • Components of cancer pain
  • Phantom limb pain
  • Entrapment neuropathy (.e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (vast nerve damage)

Media has been increasingly turning out success stories of neuropathic pain being treated effectively by the stem cells and the boost stem cell research has been receiving.

A recent news report stated that the neural stem cells injected into mice can be effective in repairing brain cells damaged by a disease similar in nature to multiple sclerosis.

Research reports have also indicted that the stem cell research could offer an effective cure for neuropathic pain related to chemotherapy. The stem cells can also possibly provide replacement cells for tissues and organs that are damaged by cancer or cancer treatment.

Links for Neuropathic Pain