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Stem Cell Therapy, a Cure for Alcoholism?

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 1 May 2018
Stem Cell Therapy, a Cure for Alcoholism?

Some people may think that when alcoholism is referred to as a disease, people are being figurative. That's not the case, alcoholism was recognized as a disease by the American Medical Association as far back as 1956 and it's easy to see why. Frequent use of alcohol and other addictive substances changes your brain chemistry, causing brain inflammation that builds dependence and alters your behaviour.

Kicking the bottle isn't just a matter of willpower, it comes with a host of withdrawal systems and complications. In addition, your brain can remain inflamed long after you've stopped drinking.

However, a medical cure for alcoholism could be available in our lifetime thanks to stem cell therapy. According to a study from the University of Chile, researchers were able to reduce alcohol intake in rats by 80-90 per cent using human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) taken from fat.

On the Rocks

According to head researcher Yedy Israel in an interview with ResearchGate, the test rats were drinking more than the equivalent of a bottle of vodka daily for several months. However, 48 hours after being injected with stem cells, the rats instead chose to drink regular water instead of the alcohol-based solutions they'd previously preferred.

After depriving the experimental group of alcohol for two weeks, the time came for the big test of the MSCs' effectiveness: whether or not the alcoholism cure would stand in the face of the rats' reintroduction to alcohol. The scientists gave the rats their alcohol back, but only for one hour. According to Israel, the rats who received the stem cell treatment withstood the temptation without even having to call their sponsors.

"Typically, the animals would engage in binge-like drinking during this short period, consuming the human equivalent of about eight standard drinks," Israel said. "Animals that had received the small-sized mesenchymal stem cells treatment consumed much less, levels comparable to that of a social drinker."

The (Rat) Race to a Cure for Alcoholism

Though UoC's alcoholism cure took to the rats like, well, mice take to cheese, there's a long way to go before a stem cell cure for alcoholism is available for human trials, let alone the open market. Nonetheless, this exciting progress is one big step forward. Hopefully, we'll reach the destination in less than twelve.

While RegenerVate is no alternative to AA, we can use a variety of non-surgical stem cell therapies to help you alleviate chronic pain and treat muscle injuries by harnessing the power of stem cells found in your own body.

Visit our website to learn how our stem cell treatments can help you.

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Stoddard is a sport medicine and injection physician in Toronto and is the Medical Director of RegenerVate. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sport Medicine. His injection training, including ultrasound, PRP and Prolotherapy, was primarily done in the USA. He is a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), is married and a proud father of two boys. He is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Treatment Options Stem Cell Research

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