A new study suggests stem cell therapy could be utilised in the fight against alcoholism.
Alcoholism is a deadly illness that takes more than 80,000 lives each year in the USA according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
Thankfully, many effective treatments already exist to help arrest alcoholism, although no out-and-out cure exists.
A stem cell is a type of cell that is capable of developing into one of many different specialised cells. There exist around two hundred different potential specialised cells that one stem cell could develop into.
Examples of these specialised cells include brain cells, lung cells, and kidney cells.
Stem cells are capable of renewing via mitosis. Mitosis essentially involves cell duplication. This means one stem cell is capable of duplicating itself into many thousands of the same type of specialised cell.
Stem cell therapy occurs when stem cells are used to treat a particular illness. Regenerative medicine is a prominent treatment that’s made good use of stem cell therapy.
Here, stem cell therapy is used to restore damaged tissue or organs when a patient has experienced either a chronic illness or serious injury.
Scientists now believe stem cell therapy may be able to treat genetic diseases at their source. Alcoholism and drug addiction are considered by some to be caused by genetics.
If this is true, then stem cell therapy may be able to prevent alcoholism and drug addiction by tampering with genetic code.
In 2017, one study carried out at the University of Chile involved injecting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into alcohol-addicted rats. These injections meant these rats reduced their alcohol consumption by as much as 90%.
Injecting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into humans is not viable. This is because MSCs are large molecules meaning they have difficulty passing into the human brain.
Scientists are now poised to alter the experiment so human trials may begin. We eagerly await the results of these tests. Perhaps, a cure for alcoholism is finally on the horizon.
Whilst the thought of a cure for alcoholism is infinitely pleasing, the reality is that no such cure is yet available. However, there exist many treatments that effectively arrest alcoholism. These treatments will help you live your life as a ‘recovering alcoholic’.
One form of addiction treatment takes place at a residential drug and alcohol rehab clinic. Rehab 4 Addiction is a free helpline to assist you in your search for suitable rehab clinics in your local area.
Rehab 4 Addiction works with clinics throughout the United Kingdom and many overseas. We are located in central London.
You can contact us on 0800 140 4690 or by submitting a call-back request via our contact form.