Muscular dystrophy is a genetic disease affecting mainly a person’s skeletal muscles. There are several types which affect different muscle groups. Symptoms of these disorders manifest as progressive muscle weakness. Patients with the disease have a lack of a protein that is called dystrophin. The absence of this protein causes major damage to muscles, which begin to waste away over time. While there is currently no cure, health care professionals typically use steroids and other medications, braces and occasionally surgery to treat the effects of the disease.
Stem cell treatment may also be used to treat muscular dystrophy. Today, genetic techniques and stem cell therapies are used to replace or repair the defective genes that prevent the production of dystrophin. Scientists are hopeful that, one day, stem cell research will lead to greater applications towards treating muscular dystrophy. This type of stem cell therapy utilizes the patient’s own stem cells. The treatment and harvest of the patient’s cells are always completed conforming to the guidelines provided by the FDA.
These therapies are still being researched to optimize the use of stem cells in treating muscular dystrophy. There is a variety of methods that are being tested in treating the disorder. Scientists hope that in the very near future stem cell therapy will be used towards the cure for muscular dystrophy.